Blackburn v Newcastle 19:45
Newcastle are a big price with Bet365 as they have something to prove this week after succumbing to a second-half masterclass at Craven Cottage last week that saw them go from a 1-0 lead at halftime to a 5-2 loss at the final whistle.
The Magpies travel to Ewood Park and will visit Blackburn Rovers who, unlike Newcastle, can be pleased with their recent run of good form.
Ignoring a 2-1 loss to Stoke City at home, Steve Kean’s side have played admirable in their last five matches that have included wins against Manchester United and Fulham as well as coming away with two points from their Merseyside fixtures against Liverpool and Everton.
Unlike most of their Premier League competition who were looking to add to their rosters over the month of January, Blackburn can take satisfaction in the fact that they managed to keep a hold on some of their bigger stars including Junior Hoilett and of course, Christopher Samba.
The pair were of course being heavily linked with an exit from the Lancashire outfit but it seems as if Steve Kean has managed to weave some magic in convincing the pair to stick with the club for at least six more months.
The Scot’s main objective now will be to rally his troops and work with the players at his disposal to ensure the club’s Premier League survival.
Although Newcastle have enjoyed a superb first half to the Premier League season – which included a win over Manchester United of their own – Alan Pardew’s side will find it difficult to come away from Ewood Park with points.
Clubs threatened by relegation as Blackburn are can often prove more of a challenge than those in a comfortable league position.
Steve Kean’s men will now ignore all transfer speculation and develop concentration for the task at hand, meaning an improved morale could lead to improved performances.
It’s good to see that Venkys group have paid no attention to the boycotting chants against Steve Kean’s reign at the club and the manager is just now seeing results from his side.
Newcastle will be without the prolific Demba Ba and new signing Papiss Demba Cissé due to fatigue after returning from international duty with Senegal, meaning that if Rovers were ever going to come away from this fixture with a win, now would be the time to do it.