clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Birmingham City v Newcastle United- The fourth meeting this season

Newcastle will look to bounce back from their awful display against Fulham and go into the international break on the back of a win. 

Birmingham City v Newcastle United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Yoan Gouffran in action against Birmingham earlier in the season.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gianfranco Zola has changed the system in recent weeks, in which he has used three centre backs. Results have picked up slightly, but the Italian remains under massive pressure.

Blues striker Clayton Donaldson is set to make the Birmingham squad after three months on the sidelines with an Achilles injury.

The Jamaican striker featured for the under-23 side in midweek, but was not selected for last week's clash with Cardiff City.

Another who will return is left full-back Cheick Keita. The youngster was a rumoured target for Newcastle, but instead could line up against them on Saturday. He will likely only be fit for the bench though, with Jonathan Grounds keeping his place as the left wing-back.

Tesche and Kieftenbeld anchored the midfield at Cardiff, but it would not be a surprise to see David Davis play slightly deeper, in order to allow Craig Gardner to slot in behind two strikers.

Winger Jacques Maghoma has only featured once since returning from the African Cup of Nations, mostly through injury, but also through illness. He could well be available to start after being an unused substitute last time out. However, winter signing Kerim Frei will be fighting him for a place on the team-sheet.

Derby County v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship
Maghoma has barely played for his club since the turn of the year.
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

The obvious danger man comes in the shape of Lucas Jutkiewicz, who scored in the F.A Cup match against Newcastle earlier this year.

Former Sheffield United striker Che Adams will be hoping for a chance to impress alongside Jutkiewicz.

The visiting Magpies will be without some key players at St Andrew's. Defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark have both been ruled out. The American picked up a thigh injury against Brighton a few weeks ago, and will miss five weeks after seeing a specialist. Clark has an issue with his medial ligament.

Jesus Gamez will therefore be pushing for a start, alongside both Grant Hanley and forgotten man Chancel Mbemba.

Norwich City v Newcastle United - Premier League
This could well be the first time we see Chancel Mbemba since November.
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Isaac Hayden (ankle) is not yet ready to make his return to the squad and neither is Rolando Aarons (knee).

Jack Colback will continue with Jonjo Shelvey in the middle of the park, whilst Yoan Gouffran will be hoping to start on the left flank.

Mo Diame has been very underwhelming for much of the season and failed to make any impact last weekend once again. Ayoze Perez could find himself back in the starting line-up.

Likely line ups

Birmingham: Kuszczak, Shotton, Bielik, Robinson, Nsue, Davis, Kieftenbeld, Grounds, Gardner, Donaldson, Jutkiewicz

Newcastle: Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Hanley, Dummett, Shelvey, Colback, Ritchie, Perez, Gouffran, Gayle

Score prediction: Birmingham City 1-2 Newcastle United

The match has not been selected for TV coverage. You can follow along by tuning into BBC Radio Newcastle’s live match commentary, courtesy of the official NUFC website.