Our football match prediction:
Birmingham City and Newcastle United face each other in an all-Championship clash in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. The Blues have been struggling in recent festive fixtures and they are on a four-game winless run in the league ahead of the visit of Newcastle United. Birmingham City, though, are tough to beat at home and that is giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the FA Cup showdown. The Magpies have been having their ups and downs of late and seeing that they are fully focused on securing automatic promotion to the Premier League, we are not tempted to put our money on Rafa Benitez’s troops this time out. The experienced tactician is likely to stick to his rotation policy and we predict that Aleksandar Mitrovic is going to be deployed as a lone striker for the visitors against Birmingham City. Anyhow, share of spoils appears on the horizon.
Highlighted Player (Maikel Kieftenbeld):
Maikel Kieftenbeld is a defensive midfielder who plays for Birmingham City. The Dutch footballer was born on 26 June, 1990 and he made his senior debut for Go Ahead Eagles on 8 August 2008. Kieftenbeld played 63 matches for Go Ahead Eagles and scored three goals for the Dutch team. After ending his spell with the Adelaarshorts outfit, he joined Groningen on 17 June, 2010 on a four-year deal. The Eredivisie club paid a €300,000 fee for the midfielder and it has to be noted that he spent five years at Euroborg stadium. Maikel Kieftenbeld then signed a three-year contract with Birmingham City for an undisclosed fee. The Dutch footballer scored three goals in 42 appearances for the Blues in the 2015/2016 Championship campaign. Kieftenbeld was born in Dalfsen where he attended Heilig Hartschool. His mother Anja played volleyball, while his father Joop worked as a football coach. The Birmingham City midfielder is well known for his ability to pass the ball quickly to his teammates, but for his hard tackles as well.
Highlighted Team (Newcastle United):
Newcastle United failed to impress in the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign and, as a result, they dropped to the English second tier. The Magpies will host their rivals at their St. James’ Park in the 2016/2017 Championship campaign and it has to be noted that the capacity of the stadium is 52,354. Newcastle United have won four domestic trophies (1904/1905, 1906/1907, 1908/1909, 1926/1927), while lifting six FA Cup titles (1910, 1924, 1932, 1951, 1952, 1955) and a number of star players were part of the St. James’ Park outfit in the past. David Ginola, Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Nolberto Solano, Gary Speed, Obafemi Martins and Kevin Nolan are notable footballers who are still remembered at the club. Newcastle’s fiercest rivals are Sunderland and there have always been fireworks when the two local rivals face each other in the Tyne-Wear derby. The colour of Newcastle’s home kit is black and white.