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Brentford v Newcastle- First win of 2017?

Rafa Benitez’s men make their way to Griffin Park to play a Brentford side boasting one of the Nation’s most in demand strikers.

Birmingham City v Newcastle United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The big talking point in the home camp ahead of the clash is whether or not talismanic striker Scott Hogan will feature. He is fully fit and available for selection, but the decision will depend on his mindset on the back of huge transfer speculation linking him with West Ham United.

On the other hand, Danish defender Andreas Bjelland is one who may not be physically able to take part. He is suffering with a slight ankle injury.

Reported Newcastle target Alan Judge is still out as he recovers from his leg break back in April of 2016. Rico Henry is out with a shoulder injury and Lewis MacLeod will not feature because of a knee injury that has kept him out since November.

The hosts have favoured a wing back system as of late, with Yoann Barbet and fellow Frenchman Maxime Colin operating as advanced wing backs. Although, with Bjelland doubtful, Barbet may drop back into the defence, with youngster Tom Field taking up his role on the left.

Ryan Woods and Nico Yennaris will play in the centre of midfield and former Chelsea man Josh McEachran will support the front men.

Lasse Vibe will play alongside either Hogan (if selected) or Romaine Sawyers. Former German U-21 international Philippe Hoffman has only managed 51 minutes in the league this season and is unlikely to start.

As for the visitors, Aleksandar Mitrović’s nasty gash suffered against Birmingham last week will force him to sit the game out. The Serbian striker is said to be facing two to three weeks on the sidelines. He will join Jonjo Shelvey on the absentee list, who misses the last of his five game suspension. The influential midfielder will return in the F.A Cup replay in midweek.

Rolando Aarons is surprisingly back on his feet after undergoing an operation in October. He was predicted to miss the rest of the season, but is way ahead of schedule. It will still be weeks though, before he returns to training on Tyneside.

Christian Atsu, Chancel Mbemba and Mo Diamé are away for the African Cup of Nations and will miss the game as well.

Ayoze Pérez is back available after a slight thigh injury last week and may come straight back into the side.

Although Daryl Murphy scored in only his second Newcastle start last week, the Irishman is likely to remain on the bench this week, with Dwight Gayle spearheading the attack.

Ciaran Clark will slot back in alongside captain Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett will probably return at left back.

Given Jack Colback’s recent struggles, Benitez may choose to play Anita and Hayden in the middle of the park, meaning DeAndre Yedlin will keep his place at right back.

Likely line ups

Brentford: Bentley, Egan, Dean, Barbet, Colin, Wood, Yennaris, Field, McEachran, Vibe, Hogan

Newcastle: Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Hayden, Colback, Ritchie, Ayoze, Gouffran, Gayle

Score prediction: Brentford 1-1 Newcastle United

Birmingham City v Newcastle United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Yoan Gouffran strikes the ball
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The game was scheduled to be broadcasted live on Sky Sports on Monday night, but due to the F.A cup replay taking place during the week, the game had to be reverted back to standard kick off time. You can still follow the match by tuning into BBC Radio Newcastle’s live commentary, or by checking out our Twitter page, where match updates will be provided.