By support

9th Dec, 2016 | 12:58pm

Gary Rowett identifies four reason why Newcastle are title favourites

By Emma Sanders

Gary Rowett has claimed there are four good reasons why Newcastle are strong favourites to win the Championship this season.

Birmingham take on Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday and the fifth-placed side are aware they are not favourites to win the clash given the home side’s domination of the division.

The Blues manager admitted he believed Rafa Benitez’ side deserved to win the league and it would be a surprise if they didn’t at the end of the season.

“With the players, the squad, the crowd and the manager they’ve got you would assume that they would be a very strong favourite to win the division and rightly so,” said Rowett, as reported by the Chronicle.

“But as they’ll find and as they found recently. it’s not an easy division to win games consistently no matter who you are or what you spend. It’s always a challenge.”

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Birmingham are targeting a play-off position at the end of the campaign but after suffering a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Barnsley last weekend, they are in need of a victory.

Three points against Benitez’s side is a tough task but Newcastle have been uncharacteristically poor in their last two fixtures, suffering defeats against Nottingham Forest and Blackburn.

Newcastle will also have Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett available despite previous fears they would be forced to miss the clash through suspension but the red cards they received against Nottingham Forest have been overturned.

Birmingham are currently nine points away from Newcastle at the top of the table but have lost just once in their last five games and are just one victory off Brighton Reading in third place.

In other Newcastle news, fans react on Twitter as Alan Shearer is presented an award.