After stuttering in the Championship somewhat of late, the FA Cup provides Newcastle United with a rather welcome distraction.
This competition hasn’t been too kind to the Magpies in recent seasons, so it is refreshing to see a manager such as Rafa Benitez hopefully taking the magic of the cup seriously.
Changes are of course expected as promotion back to the Premier League simply has to be the priority and striker Aleksandar Mitrovic leads the line as the Magpies make the trip to St. Andrew’s.
Having already smashed Birmingham City this season, the Toon surely have nothing to fear, but it’s a big day for Matz Sels, who starts in goal.
With Rob Elliot closing in on a return to full fitness, the Belgian needs a big performance between the sticks to prove he can continue to challenge for the No.1 spot.
There are also starts for Achraf Lazaar and Massaido Haidara, with Daryl Murphy partnering Mitrovic.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 7, 2017