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Saturday, 17 January 2009

Blackburn Rovers vs Newcastle United: Premier League Prediction Panel 2008/9 - preview and predictions

If there was a game that Sam Allardyce has circled in his diary it would have been this one.  Allardyce's career saw gradual success at Notts County and Bolton Wanderers to the extent that he was shortlisted for the England job.  But the Newcastle faithful never took to him or his football, and barely six months into the job he was sacked with Newcastle in mid-table.  Allardyce was out of the game for almost a year subsequently and should take Blackburn out of the relegation zone (today at least) if this game is won - make no mistakes his Blackburn team will be fired up for this one.

Newcastle has done well under Joe Kinnear, but the division is so tight that although Newcastle start the day in eleventh - the relegation zone is three points below them, and bottom place only five.  No wonder Kinnear remains concerned at the lack of transfer funds in a squad that he has inherited from Allardyce (and Kevin Keegan).  A draw will be a decent result for Newcastle today, to hold off the bottom few.  But if the match goes badly will Kinnear manage to avoid being sent off again?

Blackburn are in good form under Allardyce and Newcastle's recent dip needs to be reversed to avoid defeat today.

Blackburn Rovers vs Newcastle United; Kick Off  3:00pm 17 Jan 2009

Prediction Panel
Our panel contains both Squarefootball writers and readers, the writers are marked: (sqf).

Tony Bellew : 1 - 2
Dave Blackburn : 1 - 0
Sue Gardener : 0 - 0
Chris Goodwin : 1 - 0
Paul Grech (sqf) : 2 - 1
Colin Illingworth (sqf) : 3 - 1
Hugh Larkin (sqf) : 1 - 0
Peter Lee : 1 - 1
Don McMahon : 1 - 0
Antony Melvin (sqf) : 2 - 1
Stephen Orford (sqf) : 1 - 1
Tony Ratton : 1 - 1
Peter Rendle : TBC - TBC
Dan Taylor : 2 - 2
Bill Urban (sqf) : 3 - 0
Andy Wakeman : 1 - 2
Isaac Williams : 1 - 1
Mark Williams : 1 - 1

Panel Verdict
The panel feels that this is too close to call

Home: 8; Draw: 7; Away: 2; TBC: 1;

* Do we have it right, or do you know better?  Please don't bother with derisory comments on the predictions after the match - unless you also pulled us up before it!

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