Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United: Match Preview

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Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United
Carling Cup Fourth Round
Ewood Park
Wednesday, October 26th: 20:00

Team News

Blackburn Rovers will be without defenders Michel Salgado and Ryan Nelsen, as well as midfielders David Dunn and Steven N'Zonzi who is suspended.

Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi is out for six weeks with a hamstring problem, with Hatem Ben Arfa striving for another run-out as he continues his recovery.

Cheik Tiote is out with a knee injury, while Steven Taylor is doubtful with a broken nose.


Pardew expects Ben Arfa impact

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has stressed the importance of striker Hatem Ben Arfa ahead of the resumption of the Carling Cup on Wednesday.

The Frenchman is still recovery from an ankle injury which disrupted his comeback from a double leg-break suffered last season.

With the form of Demba Ba and Leon Best keeping Ben Arfa out of the fold in the Barclays Premier League, injury to Shola Ameobi could see the 24-year-old handed a stating birth against Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup.

"He is going to be important in these type of games because he can unlock a door," Pardew said.

"He can do that at any level. In terms of passes and clever moments, he showed that in little flashes against Wigan.

"Hatem is at a much better level than he has ever been since I've been at the football club.

"So we're hoping that he will start featuring."

While Pardew can boast the healthy resources at St James' Park, Rovers' current injury crisis is leaving manager Steve Kean with a selection headache ahead of the visit of The Toon.

"We are still down on bodies, and with Nzonzi suspended and Slew cup-tied we are lighter than we were on Sunday," Kean said.

"We've a little bit of choice, but our programme is tighter than Newcastle's as we played Sunday, they played Saturday.

"After this we play Saturday and they don't play until Monday night, so we've been a lot lighter than them so far in terms of pre-match preparation.

"We'll see how everyone is in training tomorrow. We'll do some testing and just make sure everybody's levels are back up so they are not putting themselves at risk."


Blackburn Rovers
League Cup
Newcastle United
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