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Newcastle use some of that £35m to sign free agent Shefki Kuqi

| 10.02.2011

Newcastle fans cover your ears, Alan Pardew has decided to replace Andy Carroll by bringing in free agent and Swansea reject Shefki Kuqi.

Shola Ameobi’s fractured cheekbone has left Newcastle short of strikers and with a few more wins needed before the threat of relegation disappears; Pardew has scoured the free transfer market.

Kuqi joins Peter Lovenkrands, Nile Ranger and Leon Best as the only fit first-team strikers at Newcastle and Kuqi is 8/1 to go straight into the first team and score the first goal when Newcastle travel to Blackburn on Saturday.

Coming back from four goals down against Arsenal will mean moral is at a high in the Newcastle changing room and at 12/5 to beat Blackburn, Newcastle offer plenty of value to take the three points.

It’s a huge game for both teams who are the fringes of being dragged into a relegation battle, and Blackburn are the slightly favoured team for the drop at 8/1 compared to Newcastle’s relegation odds of 10/1.

Both teams are nine points away from the magical 40-point mark, but Newcastle face two difficult away ties before their next match at home, and Pardew will know his team need to carry their confidence from the Arsenal game forward.

Should Newcastle lose against Blackburn on Saturday then they could potentially find themselves just four points off the relegation fight and Kuqi would be expected to start finding the net in a bid to find points.

Question marks surround Kuqi’s ability to cut it in the Premier League and he certaintly isn’t a replacement for Andy Carroll, and punters should get in early on Newcastle’s odds for relegation before a collapse commences.

A £25 stake on Newcastle being relegated would return £275. New customers can sign up here for a free bet worth £25.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.