Rafa Benitez named a much changed Newcastle team v Birmingham with eight changes from the team at Blackburn.

A big surprise was to see both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Daryl Murphy paired together up front.

Only Anita, Lascelles and Colback remain from the starting eleven v Blackburn.

For the two strikers though, it has been very contrasting fortunes in the opening few minutes of the game.

From a fifth minute free-kick, Mitrovic saw his header deflected over, then from the resulting corner Daryl Murphy managed to scrambles the ball over the line for his very first Newcastle goal.

It was Achraf Lazaar on corner taking duties,with Murphy finishing from close range. 1-0 here.

A great start for United after six minutes but then disaster has unfolded with both Newcastle fans and players realising Mitrovic was down, not exactly clear what had happened with all attention on the ball going into the back of the net.

The Serbian striker didn’t get up and instead a stretcher was brought on and the number 45 given oxygen on the pitch.

The forward remained conscious throughout and was applauded from the pitch but it looks like a really serious injury, seemingly to his knee.

Here’s hoping it proves not half as bad as it looks.

Yoan Gouffran was the one who came off the bench to replace Mitrovic in the 8th minute.

After half an hour the score is Birmingham 0 Newcastle 1.

Newcastle United:

Sels, Anita, Lascelles, Hanley, Haidara, Yedlin, Tiote, Colback, Lazaar, Murphy, Mitrovic

Subs:

Darlow, Dummett, Clark, Hayden, Gouffran, Ritchie, Gayle