Newcastle United look to kick-start another cup run as they welcome Blackburn Rovers of the Championship to St James’ Park in their Second Round Carabao Cup clash.
Newcastle will be looking to ensure that their FA Cup performance of last season wasn’t simply a rarity and instead the start of stronger bids across all domestic cup competitions, whereas Blackburn will be looking to cause a cupset in their quest to continue their trend of reaching the League Cup Third Round in first season of a new decade dating back to 1980.
Newcastle have no fresh injury concerns from Saturday’s two goal away win at West Ham as Ciaran Clark closes in on an return from an ankle injury, although is unlikely to be risked in this match.
Martin Dubravka (heel), Fabian Schar (shoulder), Paul Dummett (hamstring), Matthew Longstaff (Quadriceps) and Dwight Gayle (knee) are also still absent
Blackburn will be without Bradley Johnson after the midfielder suffered an ankle injury during Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Bradley Dack (knee) and Sam Gallagher (thigh) are also ruled out for Rovers.
- Newcastle are winless in two previous League cup clashes against Blackburn, although their home clash against Rovers did go to penalties in November 1998 before losing 4-3 after extra time at Ewood Park in October 2011.
- Blackburn are unbeaten in seven of last nine trips to St James’ Park in all competitions (W6, D1, L2).
- Both teams have scored in five of their last six clashes on Tyneside with exception of a 1-0 win for Blackburn in the Championship in November 2016.
Newcastle were simply superb on Saturday against West Ham except on goal with so many chances wasted but with unused substitutes like Matt Ritchie, Ryan Fraser and Sean Longstaff available alongside Joelinton who will likely start after making a sub appearance on Saturday, I am expecting the Magpies to take this competition seriously this season if their FA Cup performances of last season are a sign of the quality when they’re at their best.
Blackburn however will pose tough opposition because they pushed Bournemouth all the way on Saturday to come from behind twice, only for Arnaut Danjuma’s late strike to deny them a deserving point so will certainly be a constant threat even if fall behind which Newcastle’s defence have to be wary of although both teams will make changes.
We therefore could have a cracking tie here between two strong teams but if Newcastle can polish their finishing then I can see just one winner.
Prediction: Newcastle United 2-1 Blackburn Rovers
Result: Newcastle United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers