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Newcastle Preview.


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In this corresponding fixture last season between Rovers and Newcastle, Ewood Park experienced it's biggest games of the season, 29271, when Newcastle brought with them a following of nearly 7000 supporters. However at present the Barcodes have only sold in the region of 2500 tickets for Sunday's game, which is extremely disappointing for a club that proud themselves on having the best supporters in the country.

I'm not suggesting that Newcastle fans are less passionate about their club, than they were last season, it's more likely that they are being influenced by the cost and indifferent form of their team.

Unless clubs wake up to the fact that negative displays, rearranged kick off times to accommodate TV coverage and pricing policy, then I fear that the national game will become a televised sport requiring sound effects and computer graphics in order to achieve an atmosphere.

Sunday's game will provide mixed reactions from Rovers supporters, with the return of Souness and Shearer to Ewood Park. Despite the early glory days under Souness when promotion was achieved followed by winning the Worthington Cup and finishing sixth in the premiership, he will be perceived as public enemy number one on Sunday as a result of his final years at Ewood, when avoiding relegation was the norm.

Meanwhile Alan Shearer, one of the greatest strikers to have played for Rovers, will be making his final bow in a competitive game at Ewood. Whilst during the game he will be more than likely be booed, prior to and after the game he will be given the applause that he rightly deserves as one of the greats of English and World football.

Two people trying to mark their influence on the game, will be recent signing Micheal Owen for Newcastle and Craig Bellamy, if declared fit, for Rovers. Owen will be attempting to score his first goal for the barcodes, whilst Bellamy will want to rub salt into the wounds of the manager who kicked him out of Newcastle.

Amazing after spending in the region of £50 million at Newcastle, if Sunderland beat West Brom on Saturday, Souness will start the game at Ewood bottom of the premiership. A win for Rovers and a goal from Bellamy would more than likely herald the imminent departure of Souness down the same path as Sir Bobby Robson.

If the game is anything as good as last season, it should be a thriller and with one or two Rovers players having a point to prove, hopefully the result will be in favour of Rovers with Shearer getting a consolation penalty at the Blackburn End as the fans pay homage to one of the greatest players to have graced Ewood Park, when he helped the club to win the premiership back in the 1994-95 season.

Click here for fans views of the game

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