Birmingham City - Blues Take On Newcastle United
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Birmingham City vs. Newcastle United

St Andrews

December 18, 2010

15:00 GMT

Blues Take On Newcastle United

Blues take on Newcastle who seem to be doing quite well on their first season back in the Premier League, which begs the question why did they sack their manager?

The Magpies are eight places above City in the league with a four point advantage, they will be looking for all the points from this encounter to keep up their charge up the table.

Blue however have a point to prove after losing last time out at Wolves.

Vital Quotes:

Ben Foster (on Andy Carroll)

"I was really looking forward to seeing what he was like when we joined up with England for the last game.

"I wanted to see how big he is - he`s a monster! Not only that, Carroll`s quick and he`s strong and he has that little bit of aggression in his game - very similar to Wayne Rooney - that you can`t teach players.

"There`s an amazing will to win in Carroll as well, he attacks everything. Carroll could be an amazing player.

"There has to be that edge in your game to be a little bit different, a little bit more special. Too much aggression can come out and there will be a few silly bookings or red cards, but overall you would rather have that in your game than not.'

Birmingham City Team News:

Birmingham have no new fitness doubts as they prepare to face Newcastle at St Andrew's despite a bout of flu hitting the camp.

Defenders Liam Ridgewell and Martin Jiranek were both affected, but have recovered sufficiently to be in contention for the team's match against Alan Pardew's side.

Alex Hleb is still out with a calf strain.

Player to watch: Ben Foster

The Blues keeper is in fine form and has the capability of stopping Andy Carroll from getting on the score sheet.

Newcastle United Team News:

Alan Pardew will have central defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson back from suspension.

Coloccini was sent off during the 5-1 defeat at Bolton and Williamson also picked up a three-match ban after being found guilty of violent conduct against striker Johan Elmander following the use of video evidence.

Their return could prove timely with Sol Campbell struggling with illness, while striker Shola Ameobi is likely to miss out with a hamstring injury.

Keeper Steve Harper, who was an unused substitute in last week's 3-1 victory over Liverpool on his return from shoulder surgery, is pushing to replace Tim Krul in goal but Dan Gosling (knee), Ryan Taylor (ankle ligaments) and Hatem Ben Arfa (double leg fracture) are still out.

Pardew is confident he can make Andy Carroll an even better player as he takes over responsibility for his development.

The homegrown 21-year-old has made huge strides in the last 12 months to establish himself as the club's biggest goalscoring threat and force his way into senior England contention.

Player to watch: Andy Carroll


Match Facts & Stats

The last five games in all competitions between Newcastle and Birmingham at St Andrew's have ended as draws.

Birmingham have won just one of their 10 Premier League matches with Newcastle and have failed to win any of the five clashes at St Andrew's.

This is the 105th meeting between the sides. Newcastle have won 41, Birmingham 33 and there have been 30 draws.

Ref Watch:

Mike Jones: Games: 16 Yellow Cards: 59 Red Cards: 2

Match Prediction:

Got to go for a 1-1 draw.

Next Fixtures:

Premier Everton vs Birmingham 26-12-2010
Premier Birmingham vs Man Utd 28-12-2010
Premier Birmingham vs Arsenal 01-01-2011

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The Journalist

Writer: Foxxy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 18 2010

Time: 2:54AM


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