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Oxford United v Newcastle United- Giant killing on the cards?

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Newcastle travel to the Kassam stadium after negotiating their way through the F.A Cup third round against Birmingham.

Newcastle United v Birmingham City - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Newcastle's Matt Ritchie has been on fire as of late
Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The League One side could thrust their new young striker Toni Martinez, who is on loan from West Ham, straight into the starting line-up. The Spaniard has been in red hot form for the Hammers’ development side and could pose a threat to the Magpies.

Christian Ribeiro and Sam Long will both return to action on Monday night, but will not make the Cup clash this weekend.

After thrashing Rochdale 4-0 in their last outing, Michael Appleton may choose to go with the same team. This would mean that they set up in a 442 formation, with Chris Maguire and Ryan Taylor leading the line.

Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood will be protected by a back four that will feature Newcastle-born Curtis Nelson.

Captain John Lundstram will anchor the midfield, probably alongside Liam Sercombe.

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has confirmed that he will field a “balanced” starting eleven and that the three youngsters who made their debuts against Birmingham could well be given another chance.

The only injury absentees are striker Dwight Gayle and Vurnon Anita, along with Rolando Aarons, who is a long term absentee. Jesus Gamez and Aleksandar Mitrovic are both available for selection.

Of course, Chancel Mbemba (who has been linked with a move away), Mo Diame and Christian Atsu are all still away on international duty.

Matz Sels is likely to retake his place in goal, with Rob Elliot in reserve.

Grant Hanley was partnered by Stuart Findlay in the replay, but whether the young Scot gets another run out remains to be seen. DeAndre Yedlin and Achraf Lazaar will start though.

Jonjo Shelvey may play, but it would not be a surprise to see Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden link up together again.

Newcastle United v Birmingham City - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Dan Barlaser made his first start in the Third round replay
Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Aleksandar Mitrovic is in need of game time, but coming off the back of a nasty injury might mean he will not be risked from the start. Daryl Murphy could therefore spearhead the attack once again.

Likely line-ups

Oxford: Eastwood, Edwards, Nelson, Dunkley, Skarz, Lundstram, Sercombe, Hall, Johnson, Maguire, Taylor

Newcastle: Sels, Yedlin, Hanley, Findlay, Lazaar, Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie, Barlaser, Gouffran, Murphy

Score prediction: Oxford United 1-3 Newcastle United.

Unfortunately, the match has not been selected for TV. To follow the match, you can tune in to BBC Radio Newcastle’s live commentary, courtesy of the official NUFC website.