Blackburn v Newcastle: Rafael Benitez defends FA Cup selections

Blackburn v Newcastle: Rafael Benitez defends FA Cup selections

Newcastle have not progressed beyond the FA cup fourth round since 2006

BBC coverage

How to follow:
Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Manager Rafael Benitez says Newcastle will struggle to “have a go” in this season’s FA Cup because of their position in the Premier League.

The Magpies fell to 18th in the league on Saturday after defeat to Chelsea.

Benitez said he will rotate his squad for the third-round replay against Blackburn on Tuesday, as he did when the teams drew 1-1 at St James’ Park.

He said clubs have to be “realistic” about their FA Cup chances when deciding to prioritise the competition.

“Who has a chance, a realistic chance? Teams in the middle of the table because they can have a go because they are safe,” Benitez said.

“The other teams, you have to manage it really carefully.”

Fellow Premier League strugglers Huddersfield, Cardiff and Fulham went out in the FA Cup in the third round to lower-league opposition, while Southampton were taken to a replay by Derby.

“Why you see these teams and they were out? Because the Premier League is massive,” Benitez said.

“You have £130m guaranteed if you are there. So everyone is trying to manage the situation. You have to be realistic.”

Team news

Mohamed Diame, Paul Dummett and Jonjo Shelvey remain out for Newcastle for the trip to Ewood Park.

Freddie Woodman, Javier Manquillo, Jamie Sterry and Jacob Murphy are among those likely to come in.

Charlie Mulgrew and Derrick Williams could feature for Blackburn.

The pair trained before the game having missed the weekend win against Millwall in the Championship.

However, midfielder Corry Evans is unlikely to play due to injury.

“We’re playing a Premier League side,” Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray said.

“The team know how tough the game is going to be but we always believe we can win, particularly at home.

“We have a level of belief that we can ask questions and put them on the back foot.”

Match facts

  • Blackburn have won just two of their 12 FA Cup matches against Newcastle United (D4 L6). However, both of those victories have come at home, winning 4-1 in the third round in 1927-28 and 1-0 in the fifth round in 1992-93.
  • Blackburn are unbeaten in their last three games against Newcastle United in all competitions (W2 D1) – the Magpies last went longer without a victory against Blackburn in all competitions between May 2007 and February 2011 (P7 W0 D1 L6).
  • Newcastle United have been taken to a replay in the third round of the FA Cup for the second time in the last three seasons, progressing past Birmingham in 2016-17.
  • Blackburn have lost their last three FA Cup ties against Premier League opponents, since beating Stoke 4-1 in the fifth round in 2014-15.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football

January 14, 2019 at 07:57AM


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