Newcastle United travel to Birmingham City today, in the third round of the FA Cup and Rafa Benitez’s side are no doubt confident that they have every chance of returning to the North-East, with their names in the draw for the next round.
However, things will not be easy for United, who have lost Ayoze Perez to injury and Mo Diame, Chancel Mbemba and Christian Atsu to international duty, as they are away for the African Cup of Nations.
With this in mind, here are three things that Newcastle fans could expect to see against Birmingham:
1. Two Up Front
With Diame and Perez both unavailable, Rafa may have no choice but to change his formation and play two up top. He has already confirmed that Aleksandar Mitrovic will start and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him partnered by one of Dwight Gayle or Daryl Murphy.
2. A Change in Goal
It is not unusual for Benitez to change his Goalkeeper for cup games and with Matz Sels needing confidence and Rob Elliot in need of minutes, either could feature today.
3. A Return To Form
Newcastle have been out of sorts lately but they will feel that they have every chance of returning to form today.