Newcastle United will look to bounce back from their frustrating defeat at Blackburn on Monday by knocking Birmingham out of the FA Cup on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Rafa Benitez’s side dominated for large periods at Ewood Park, but suffered a sucker punch 16 minutes from time when Charlie Mulgrew’s free-kick beat Karl Darlow.
The result, a second defeat in three league games and a fourth in eight, saw them lose out on top spot in the Championship to Brighton, who beat Fulham on the same day to reach the summit.
Nonetheless, the Magpies can turn their attentions away from the league this weekend when they travel to St Andrew’s in the third round of the FA Cup.
Gianfranco Zola’s Blues have yet to win a game since the Italian replaced Gary Rowett on December 14, a run which has seen them slip to 13th in the table and seven points off the play-offs.
However, the hosts will certainly be up for the cup in a bid to end their bad form, so Newcastle will need to be at their best to book their place in the last 32.
Given both sides played twice in the space of a few days earlier this week, both are likely to make changes to their starting elevens, so here are THREE Newcastle players who deserve a chance on Saturday…