Date: 16th January 2017 at 1:08pm
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As Birmingham City prepare to take on Newcastle United on Wednesday evening, manager Gianfranco Zola will take comfort from the fact that he knows the Magpies will be without a whole host of first team players.

Following their 2-1 win over Brentford at the weekend, United boss Rafa Benitez revealed that he was running out of first team players who would be fit enough to play in the FA Cup third round replay against Blues.

To note, Newcastle will be without top goal scorer Dwight Gayle as well as Alelsander Mitrovic, Isaac Hayden, Vurnon Anita, Mohamed Diame, Christian Atsu, Chancel Mbemba, Sammy Ameobi and Jamie Sterry.

With those names out, nine to be exact, Newcastle will be a little bit weaker than they were when they came to Blues last weekend but as always, they will have plenty of other big names who can fill the gaps.

Most notably, Jonjo Shelvey is back from his five-game suspension and if fit, Benitez has hinted that his is likely to recall him into the starting line up and if Blues are to take anything from the last time we went to St.James’ Park it is that Shelvey can pick a pass with his eyes closed.

With all those players absent, Blues need to take their chances because there might not be a better time to pick up a result that could boost the confidence of the team as well as the confidence amongst fans as well.

If recent signing Craig Gardner starts on Wednesday, which I think he will, then hopefully he will be able to add that little bit of class to the midfield and if we can pick up a win against a somewhat weakened Newcastle side then hopefully some of the pressure will come off the shoulders of Zola.

Blues fans, do you think we will get a result against Newcastle this weekend? Let us know in the comment section down below!

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