Blackburn Rovers Away Preview 16/17

Lancashire Trip For Magpies On Revenge Mission

Firstly a Happy New Year to everyone out there from me. As a Newcastle fan 2016 was a very mixed year but hopefully 2017 can be the year that sees our swift return to the Premier League after the trauma of relegation last May.

So far this season has mostly gone to plan however there have maybe been a few more blips along the way than we were expecting and the back to back league defeats to Nottingham Forest and Blackburn at the end of November / start of December certainly fall into that catagory.

Whilst we could probably point to some bum decisions against us in the Forest game there were certainly no such excuses against Rovers. They came to St James Park and pretty much outfought, outthought and outplayed us from start to finish and deservedly left with the 3 points.

After gaining some revenge on Forest with Friday nights win it would be nice to do the same to Blackburn today although doing it in a more convincing nature would be appreciated.

We didnt play well against Forest but like so many times this season our extra bit of quality got us through in the end.

We obviously know what to expect from Blackburn but the fact is they are still a team languishing at the bottom of the table - if we go there with the right attitude and play the way we have at times away from home this season then we should be able to get the 3 points but we cant afford to be complacent which I think has been our main achilles heel so far this season.

For all the quotes from the players and manager to the contrary I still think we are going into too many games with an arrogance of expecting to just turn up and win and fortunately because we do have that extra bit of quality this has been papered over against a majority of the teams in this division.

Some however have got their game plans spot on like Blackburn did at our place and have taken advantage of that and that is something that needs cutting out for 2017 and I have to say for a man of such detail I am a little suprised that this hasnt already been dealt with by Rafa.

With Shelvey sitting out the 3rd game of his 5 match suspension I think most eyes will again be on who is going to be our creative spark in his absence when it comes to evaluating the team selection.

Colback has done ok in the last couple of games alongside Hayden although I think one big issue is that the likes of Hayden in particular has taken it upon himself to try and directly replace Shelvey and has been trying to spray long crossfield balls about to pretty mixed success.

Without Shelvey I think we need to find a different way of playing and dont need players to try and be him. The likes of Hayden and Colback etc are decent at short sharp passing so need to stick to that really but it needs to be more forwards than sideways in order to hurt teams.

That is where I think the selection of who plays in front is important - Perez was awful there the other night so I would be disappointed to see him play again. Diame is the kind of obvious alternative but I wouldnt mind maybe seeing Ritchie play in there and then go with Atsu and the Gouff out wide just to mix it up a bit and try something a bit different.

I would personally also go with Anita in the middle maybe ahead of Colback with Yedlin continuing at right back. Dont care what people say, Anita is a good midfield player who can pick a pass albeit of a shorter range than Shelvey.

Other than that I cant see many other changes in the key areas - Rafa seems to have a more settled preferred 11 now with the likes of Darlow, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie and Gayle all pretty much now guaranteed starters.

Brighton have a tough away trip to Fulham today so it is imperative that we take 3 points from this one and start 2017 as we mean to go on. Gaining a bit of revenge over Blackburn simply needs to be an added bonus to picking up another win in front of an extrordinary near 7000 away following.

Need a ticket to the game or can't make a game and want to sell your ticket? Visit Viagogo

Share |

Your Comments - 0 responses so far

No current posts - be the first to give your opinion!

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to add a post.

Log in using the options in the righthand menu or if you are new to the site use the register link in the main menu to register an account.