Confirmed Newcastle line-up v Birmingham: Mitrovic starts among eight changes
By Matt Farr
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has made eight changes to his line-up to face Birmingham in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The Magpies welcome back striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to the starting line-up, after the Serbia international was axed ahead of the defeat to Blackburn on Monday.
Matz Sels, Massadio Haidara, Grant Hanley, Achraf Lazaar, DeAndre Yedlin, Cheick Tiote and Daryl Murphy also start.
Karl Darlow, Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark, Isaac Hayden, Matt Ritchie, Yoan Gouffran and Dwight Gayle all drop to the bench.
Captain Jamaal Lascelles, Vurnon Anita and Jack Colback are the three players that retain their places.
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Newcastle announced their team on their official Twitter account:
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 7, 2017
There is no place in the matchday squad for Spanish forward Ayoze Perez, who is ruled out through injury.
Jonjo Shelvey remains absent, and serves the fourth match of his five-game suspension.
Mo Diame, Chancel Mbemba and Christian Atsu are also out, due to their Africa Cup of Nations commitments.
Benitez’s side will be looking for his side to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to Blackburn on, a loss which saw them fall a crucial two points behind Championship leaders Brighton – who have a game in hand.
Newcastle and Birmingham last met on December 10, with the Magpies running out comfortable 4-0 winners thanks to a superb hat-trick from Dwight Gayle and a goal from Yoan Gouffran.
In other Newcastle team news, the Magpies have entered talks over a potential deal for Ivan Toney.