Rover and out for Newcastle?

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Rafael Benitez

Blackburn Rovers can dump Newcastle out of the FA Cup in midweek, while goals look on the cards when Southampton host Derby.

Blackburn to beat Newcastle @ 7/5

Newcastle made eight changes for the first game, one which they looked set to lose until a late penalty saved them.

With a huge six-pointer looming on Saturday against Cardiff, expect another largely second-string side from Rafa Benitez, who described this replay as “bad news” following the initial 1-1 draw.

In contrast, Blackburn switched only one player at St James’ Park so clearly are taking the competition seriously, this despite being only six points off the play-offs in the Championship.

With home advantage against a team whose motivation may not be that high, 7/5 looks fair.

Fabian Schar to be carded in Blackburn v Newcastle @ 53/20

Another decent bet looks to be Fabian Schar to be carded at 53/20. You rarely get that in this market these days about the Swiss centre-back who likes to dive in – he’s been booked in six of his 14 Newcastle appearances so far.

Under 2.5 goals in Stoke v Shrewsbury @ 5/6

Two struggling sides meet in this one – both sit in the bottom half of their respective divisions and both are finding it difficult to hit the back of the net at present.

Stoke have scored just twice in their last five games and surely their chances of getting out of the rut won’t be hugely helped by a raft of changes – they made six for the first game and lacked fluency. For Shrewsbury, the stat is two in four.

Under 2.5 goals looks the way to go with five of Stoke’s last six meeting this criteria and four of Shrewsbury’s last five. Those figures include their 1-1 draw 10 days ago.

Both teams to score in Southampton v Derby @ 5/6

If it’s goals you are after, this looks the game to follow. Despite plenty of changes, the first game was a flowing, open affair and with both teams in the thick of a fight in their respective leagues, neither will want extra time and will surely go for it.

Both have strong recent trends for games with goals. Six of Southampton’s last seven have seen both teams score, while for Derby it’s five of the last six – Championship leaders Leeds being the team to keep them quiet, which is hardly a disgrace.

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