Who would you have in your Newcastle team v Birmingham?

The recent Championship defeats to Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday, combined with Brighton & Reading relentlessly squeezing at the top of the table, means Newcastle and their fans are denied the luxury of relaxing this weekend with the FA Cup.

Even so, I am still surprised at just how little chat there has been about Saturday’s team selection.

Whilst there has been much talk of Newcastle’s strong squad, with Shelvey and the African Cup of Nations trio missing, there doesn’t seem an awful lot of room for radical change.

Even the handful of young returning loan players are all cup-tied, so no surprises seemingly from that direction.

I think it is an ideal time to both give Dwight Gayle a rest and at the same time reunite Mitrovic and Perez up front.

They combined for that 6-0 win at QPR and last season they looked to have the makings of a promising partnership in the Premier League at times.

Whether it is to rev them up for the coming Championship challenges or put them in the shop window, the FA Cup looks ideal to give the pairing a runout.

On the wings, Atsu’s absence takes away that alternative, so unless there is a surprise use of Yedlin on the right, I see Gouffran and Ritchie as continuing, despite a poor showing at Blackburn.

Similarly in the middle of the pitch, Shelvey has two more games on suspension and so I think putting Anita in alongside Colback is a worthwhile exercise, as I do feel that maybe Hayden has been involve dfar too often and too much expectation/pressure on a 21 year old.

It must make sense for Hanley and especially Lazaar to get a game/chance, whilst talk of Rob Elliot getting a game ahead of Matz Sels must surely be wide of the mark – as that would send the Belgian’s confidence really down to rock bottom.

My choice of Newcastle team v Birmingham:

newcastle team v birmingham

To create the image above, Sam used the NUFC team selector.

You can do the same by following the simple instructions HERE and then there are a number of great options where you can then also share your team via Twitter (include @nufcthemag in your tweet and we will share some of them with our 20k followers) , or you can share the selector on Facebook with friends, family and the rest of the black and white world. Alternatively, simply downloading the team image to the device you are using

When using the NUFC team selector you simply click on what team formation (4-3-3, 4-4-2 etc) you want, then click each position on the pitch and choose from the Newcastle United squad.

Go to the NUFC team selector now and choose and share your Newcastle team v Birmingham.

Before every match, simply go to the menu at the top of this screen and click features, then on the drop down list click NUFC Team Selector and choose your team for every match.