The selection of this Newcastle team v Birmingham is set to be interesting this Saturday.

Only 48 hours until Rafa Benitez looks to put that Fulham nonsense into the past.

A first defeat in 12 Championship matches but food for thought when it comes to Rafa’s selection.

With the likes of Aarons and Hayden set to miss, along with the very bad news on the DeAndre Yedlin injury, this is the team I would put out below.

The FA Cup match at Birmingham saw Rafa Benitez select two strikers (Mitrovic and Murphy) and with Perez & Diame failing miserably as number tens, I can’t see why it isn’t worth giving the Gayle/Murphy partnership a try.

Birmingham have only won two of their last 18 matches and are there to be beaten, so let’s get on the front foot from the start.

Get the two wingers on the pitch and with both Murphy and Gayle in the box, both Ritchie and especially Atsu can get plenty of joy, rather than the more negative selection of Gouffran.

Shelvey is a no-brainer but with Colback so poor, I think that whilst Diame’s contribution going forward has been so poor, his stamina and physicality can do a job in the middle of the pitch, in Hayden’s absence.

At the back, with Yedlin out and almost certainly Ciaran Clark, NUFC are left with little pace.

Lascelles and Mbemba did really well together at the end of last season and the idea of pairing Hanley and Lascelles sounds a really bad one to me, so hopefully Chancel Mbemba is brought out of the wilderness.

Vurnon Anita had a nightmare against Fulham and maybe now is the time to belatedly utilise Jesus Gamez’ experience at right-back.

My idea of the Newcastle team v Birmingham:

newcastle team v birmingham

To create the image above, Dale 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 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.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to contribute@themag.co.uk)

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  • Wor Lass

    I wouldn`t argue with that team but I suspect Rafa might stick with Vurn at RB and he definitely seems to regard Hanley as his third choice CB. He`s also reluctant to start with two up front (Pardew was given dog`s abuse for the same thing).

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      he`s got to do something

  • Rob Brown

    I find it hilarious that a year into his reign some fans still insist on pushing for 4-4-2 when it became obvious months ago that Rafa prefers 4-4-1-1.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      4-2-3-1

    • Jimblag23

      I know! The author is just wasting their time writing the article and we’re wasting time reading it! (Not that I did, just looked at the line up)

    • MadMag83

      My thoughts exactly! The author also makes reference to the fact Fulham was our first defeat in 12 yet then suggests it’s time for a change! Where do they find these people?

      • Desree

        Aye, the same people who called for SBRs head no doubt

  • hetonmag

    My team Darlow, Gamez, Hanley, Dummett, Colback,
    Shelvey, Diami,
    Atsu, Gayle, Ritchie,
    Murphy.

  • Rich Lawson

    Birmingham away with the team in free fall for Zola’s last match ? Exactly the time to try 4-4-2 ? Nobody would expect it (not even me !)

  • Desree

    David prutton and 4 4 2 articles are like broken pencils. Pointless

  • 1957

    It’s not going to happen, Rafa’s default selections Gayle up front, Diame behind him and no chance of Mbemba featuring

  • Toon Wolf

    That’s probably the team Keegan would play if he were in charge. But he’s not.

  • funlovingexpress

    There are very few wingers in the game today. The majority of the ones who couild have been were turned into either wingbacks or inverted wingers from a very early age.

    Players can play there if the need arises but it is in no way the strongest formation.

    When an inverted winger plays on the side of his natural foot and has a bad game he is crucified by our lot because for some strange reason some of our fans dont understand the difference between a natural winger and an inverted one, never mind the sdifferent strengths and weaknesses both positions have.

    Our fans are some of the most knowlegable in the game so I often am utterly bemused as to why that aspect of the game seems to fly completely over some of their heads.

  • dafreq

    quiz question – can anyone name a decent side that plays 4-4-2, anywhere in the world, including international teams?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      to many to mention, did you watch Monaco last night they played 4-4-2 further up the line Real & Barca play 4-3-3 , Bayern play 4-4-2
      How many English clubs are left in Europe.
      those knocked out played 4-2-3-1

      • dafreq

        I never said owt about English clubs. Bayern don’t play 4-4-2, they play Lewandowski up top with Robben and Costa out wide. Yeah Madrid and Barca play 4-3-3, how is that 4-4-2? Okay Monaco do, so one team do, but tbf they conceded 5 goals at the Ethiad playing it two weeks ago.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          but they won, the premiership is getting boring all down to 1 striker, last time i watched Bayern had 2 strikers