Blackburn v Newcastle: Ba appearance holds the key to result
Blackburn have shown signs of improvement of late in their battle to avoid the Premier League drop and they will arguably not be handed a better chance to pick up a victory over Newcastle this season.
After playing well for a period and still failing to collect any substantial number of points, Blackburn have enjoyed a slight reversal of fortunes by losing just one of their last five fixtures.
As a result they are now only a point from moving out of the relegation places and it is 13/8 that they boost their chances of escaping the bottom three by beating Newcastle.
However, the closeness of the game is highlighted by the fact that Newcastle are also 13/8 in the Premier League odds to achieve victory and remain on the periphery of the top four.
The challenge in separating the pair is heightened as the duo have both taken 11 points from their last ten Premier League games.
Therefore, the fact that Blackburn have home advantage could be enough to side with them, while Newcastle’s most recent form has been the least impressive, losing their last two games, one of which was to Championship club Brighton even when picking a full-strength team.
But, the big factor that could influence the result is whether Demba Ba or Papiss Demba Cisse are selected in attack for Newcastle, as they would have literally just arrived home from the African Nations Cup.
It is unlikely that Cisse will make his debut, but with Ba in such hot form before heading off to the tournament and being so pivotal to Newcastle’s opening half of the campaign, he may be risked despite the possibility of tiredness and jet lag.
Ba is 4/1 to score the opener in the Premier League odds against Blackburn, who have failed to shut out the opposition all season thus far in a single game.
For Blackburn, David Dunn looks overpriced to strike first at 14/1 given that he has recently been employed in an advanced midfield role behind a single striker.