Confirmed Newcastle line-up v Birmingham: Shelvey returns in eight changes
By Harvey Byrne
Newcastle have made eight changes to their side, which will face Birmingham in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening at St James’ Park.
The Toon squad has been hit by a number of injuries in recent weeks, which includes star forward duo Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Additionally, Mohamed Diame, Christian Atsu and Chancel Mbemba are also unavailable due to the AFCON.
This has lead to manager Rafa Benitez bringing Jonjo Shelvey back into his starting line-up following the end of his five-match suspension.
Young trio Stuart Findlay, Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, Dan Barlaser have also made their way into the XI alongside Matz Sels, Grant Hanley, Achraf Lazaar and Cheick Toite.
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That has in turn seen just Matt Ritchie, Yoan Gouffran and DeAndre Yedlin retain their place in the side’s eleven after the weekend’s 2-1 victory over Brentford.
Newcastle announced the team on their official Twitter page ahead of the cup clash.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 18, 2017
This is the third time in five weeks that the two second tier sides have faced each other, with the previous two meetings bringing very different results.
The north east giants ran out an emphatic 4-0 victory over Gianfranco Zola’s team at St James’ Park in the league with a Gayle hat-trick accompanied by a Yoan Gouffran effort.
Meanwhile, the cup clash at St Andrews saw Newcastle held in a 1-1 draw with Murphy’s early strike cancelled out by Lukas Jutkiewicz just before half time.
A win for either side will bring a trip to League One outfit Oxford in the fourth round of the prestigious competition.
In other Newcastle team news, Isaac Hayden issued this battle cry before the match.