Date: 4th May 2007 at 9:12am
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I`m honestly at a bit of a loss as to what to write for the preview this week. Normally the snappy witticisms (Ed – aye, righto!) stem from the fact NUFC are about to bottle a crucial part of the season or keep our hearts and minds on tenterhooks for another week. Not so this time round. Even our last hope of the Intertoto was extinguished following the Reading no-show on Monday night.

Instead home fans get the prize sight of seeing England`s Michael Owen at St James`. Thrown in for a double whammy by the Fat Controller is the new home kit, looking resplendent with it`s sky blue piping and pink thing in the middle of the logo. Only £39.99 in the club shop AND you get the chance of meeting the legend that is Peter Beardsley. Who knows – he could come knocking on your door like in the cringeworthy advert running on Tyne-Tees at the moment.

Can I have my commission now Frederick?

In essence that`s pretty much all we can offer. Allardyce`s portly shadow looms over the ground like that big alien spaceship over the White House in Independence Day. Will Roeder and Pearson resort to lounging about like a couple of tramps on a park bench in the dugout like they did at Reading? Will we see him make it as far as the touchline or bottle it Souness-like behind a thick coat and nine members of his coaching staff? Expect token radgies running onto the pitch and throwing their season ticket down in disgust. Pretty ineffective considering all the games have been used up. These are all things to watch out for at the ground if you`re a seasoned spotter.

Another impressive performance to watch out for is the lap of ‘honour`. Whether the players will even bother with this one is up for debate as I`m yet to speak to anyone that`s going to stop back and clap like seals to celebrate the underachievement of this season. Cue Pigbag. The pub and a lacing sesh beckons for most I reckon.

Glenn and Sparky

Nowt so far – to follow…

Newcastle Team News:

In terms of team news Emre and Sibierski replace Butt and Parker in Crock Corner with the latter two hopefully fit enough to start against Mokoena and fatty Dunn. Owen and Martins should begin round two of their ‘getting to know each other`s game` phase up front, with Shola on the bench. Otherwise I can`t see too much that Roeder is going to tinker about with. Maybe N`Zogbia on the left if either of the centre two are knacked, moving Milner to the right and Dyer to the middle. Nowt to change at the back, so the majority will hopefully see Bramble in a black and white shirt for the last time (Watford attenders apart).

Player to watch: England’s Michael Owen

The first time in about a year and a half he’s crossed the white line in anger.

Blackburn Team News:

Blackburn have nothing in the way of injuries to write home about. Ooijer, Todd and Savage are all still out so the line up should be: Friedel, Emerton, Nelsen, Samba, Warnock, Bentley, Dunn, Mokoena, Pedersen, McCarthy and Roberts. Settled stuff and they are coming off the back of a 4-1 battering of the Addicks at Ewood. Roberts in particular looks in good nick whilst Dunn has previous for scoring against us at SJP in one of the handful of games he played for Birmingham.

Player to watch: Jase ‘the Ace’ Roberts

Big bruiser who’ll cause Titus Shambles a real nightmare at the back.

Statto Corner

Neither club can climb from their current positions of 12th and 10th respectively. We need to score twice to total 800 Premier League goals, Rovers need four to total 700.

One win in nine Premiership outings has seen the us plummet out of contention for Europe. Now we are in danger of finishing the campaign on our lowest ever total of Premiership points. Glenn Roeder’s side have two matches to add to their 42 points. The previous lowest in this League was 44, when finishing 13th in 1997-98, and 44 in 2004-05 when 14th. In 13 Premier League campaigns, Newcastle have never finished lower than 14th.

Glenn’s Gang are vying for a 50th League victory over Blackburn to complete the ‘double’, having beaten Rovers 1-3 at Ewood Park five months ago. Two moments of magic in four first-half minutes from Obafemi Martins and Steven Taylor set up the victory against a 10-man Blackburn. We have not recorded same season home and away victories over Rovers in the Premiership. We last managed it at second League level in 1990-91, and have not completed it in the top flight since 1960-61.

Ref Watch:

Martin Atkinson – oversaw our 2-1 wins as whistler for Watford and Wigan. A hat trick would be most welcome.

Match Prediction:

2-2 draw. Roberts and McCarthy for Rovers whilst Oba and Milner will notch for us.

Next Up?

Final game at already relegated Watford.