Newcastle v Birmingham preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:29

Newcastle v Birmingham preview

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor will start after Mike Williamson’s season was brought to a premature close by an arm fracture.
Williamson, who was due to undergo surgery on Thuesday afternoon, joins James Perch on the sidelines for the remaining three games of the Premier League campaign after the full-back damaged his knee during the warm-up at Liverpool last Sunday.
Manager Alan Pardew had hoped to be able to include French winger Hatem Ben Arfa in the squad for the first time since October 3, when he suffered a double leg break at Manchester City, but he has had a setback in training and is unlikely to figure until the new season.
Stephen Ireland and Leon Best (both ankle) had already been told they will not be involved in the concluding games, while Danny Guthrie (shin), Alan Smith (also ankle) and Dan Gosling (knee) continue to work their way back to fitness.
Birmingham will be without leading scorer Craig Gardner.
Gardner has to serve a two-game ban after receiving his second red card of the campaign against Wolves last weekend. Keith Fahey and David Bentley will be in contention to replace the former Aston Villa midfielder.
Striker Nikola Zigic is still sidelined with a groin and hip problem, although he could return before the end of the season.
Newcastle (from): Harper, Krul, Simpson, Ferguson, Enrique, Coloccini, S. Taylor, R. Taylor, Tiote, Barton, Gutierrez, Nolan, Vuckic, Tavernier, Richardson, Lovenkrands, Ameobi, Ranger, Kuqi.
Birmingham (from): Foster, Carr, Johnson, Jiranek, Ridgewell, Parnaby, Larsson, Ferguson, Bowyer, Jerome, Phillips, Doyle, Hleb, Fahey, Derbyshire, Mutch, Davies, Bentley, Beausejour.

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