Blackburn v Newcastle preview

Team news ahead of Saturday afternoon's Premier League clash between Blackburn and Newcastle at Ewood Park.

Last Updated: 11/02/11 at 10:45

Ranger and Best: Passed fit to face Rovers

Ranger and Best: Passed fit to face Rovers

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Striker Roque Santa Cruz returns to Rovers' squad for the visit of the Magpies.

The Paraguay international has missed the last two matches with a groin injury but has now fully recovered.

Defender Gael Givet (groin) is still not fit, although utility player Phil Jones' rehabilitation from a knee operation is ahead of schedule and he is set for a possible return in April.

January signings Mauro Formica, who arrived from Argentinian side Newell Old Boys, and Ruben Rochina, from Barcelona, are still a few weeks away from featuring as they continue their integration into the squad.

Newcastle strikers Leon Best and Nile Ranger will be fit to take their places in the squad for the trip to face Rovers.

Best withdrew from the Republic of Ireland squad with a tight hamstring, while Ranger did not report for duty with England Under-20s because of a back problem, but both men will be available at Ewood Park.

They will be joined in the squad by new recruit Shefki Kuqi, while Shola Ameobi hopes to return from a fractured cheekbone in as little as three weeks' time after being fitted for a protective mask.

Central defender Steven Taylor will return to training after a hamstring injury on Monday, while loan signing Stephen Ireland continues his recovery from the knee problem he picked up while with Aston Villa.

Ryan Taylor (ankle), Dan Gosling (knee), Alan Smith (ankle) and Hatem Ben Arfa (broken leg) remain on the sidelines.

Blackburn (from): Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Olsson, Hoilett, Andrews, J Jones, Dunn, MB Diouf, Santa Cruz, Pedersen, Bunn, Hanley, Emerton, Nzonzi, Grella, Benjani, Roberts, Kalinic.

Newcastle (from): Harper, Krul, Simpson, Perch, Ferguson, Enrique, Coloccini, Williamson, Campbell, Tiote, Barton, Nolan, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Vuckic, Richardson, Lovenkrands, Best, Ranger, Kuqi.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Premier League Fixtures

There are no fixtures at present.

Footer 365

Chuck Blazer admits facilitating acceptance of bribes at FIFA

FIFA whistleblower Chuck Blazer has admitted facilitating the acceptance of bribes over the awarding of the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke insists he is not guilty

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke insists he is not guilty of any corrupt practices and sees no reason to stand down.

Benitez emotional at Real unveiling

Rafael Benitez refused to discuss Real Madrid's apparent interest in Raheem Sterling and David de Gea at his Bernabeu unveiling on Wednesday.

Mail Box

Does Anybody Care About Russia?

Do any of us really care about the decision to give the 2018 World Cup to Russia? We're not sure anybody does. We have mails on Blatter, Rafa and lots more...

Celebrate Good Times, But Hard Work Starts Now

The Mailbox is joyous over the impending departure of Sepp Blatter, but offers a reminder that problems remain. Plus title winners, CL play-offs and Nigel Adkins...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company