Birmingham winger Maghoma doubtful for Newcastle clash

Jacques Maghoma of Birmingham City

Blues boss Gary Rowett has given an update on the fitness of his players ahead of their trip to face the league leaders.

Speaking to the club's official website, Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett has confirmed that winger Jacques Maghoma is a major doubt to face Newcastle at the weekend as he remains plagued by illness.

The former Sheffield Wednesday man has played 17 times so far this season but, having also missed last weekend's defeat at home to Barnsley, Maghoma is unlikely to add to that tally at St James' Park.

Burton's Tom Naylor in action with Birmingham City's Jacques MaghomaBirmingham City's Jacques Maghoma

"Jacques Maghoma is still not well, so we’re trying to get to the bottom of that," he said.

"He’s had a sickness bug, which his family have also all had. It’s been a frustrating one for Jacques and for us," he added.

David Davis and Jonathan Spector will also be absent for Blues through suspension along with long-term injury absentees Paul Caddis and Rhoys Wiggins, who has returned to parent club Bournemouth as he recovers from a serious knee injury.

David Davis celebrates with Stephen Gleeson after scoring the first goal for Birmingham CityDavid Davis (L) is suspended after being sent off last weekend

"Apart from that more or less everybody has trained and everybody is ready to go," Rowett said, before confirming that versatile youngster Corey O'Keefe has been handed a squad number ahead of the trip to Newcastle, with the 18-year-old ready to fill in at the back or in midfield if required

The manager will be expecting a response from his players after the surprise 3-0 home reverse at the hands of Barnsley last time out. 

Blues remain in the play-off places despite that defeat and have the chance to rise as high as third if they win and other results go their way.

Birmingham City Manager Gary RowettBirmingham City Manager Gary Rowett

A fortnight ago Birmingham may have been dreading the trip to the north-east, but Newcastle have lost consecutive Championship matches in recent weeks as well as going out the EFL Cup, so Blues have an opportunity to add to the Magpies recent discomfort.

To do so they will have to put an end to a poor recent record at St James' Park; Blues have not won in the league there since David Dunn's winner secured a 1-0 win in 2003, though they did record a remarkable 5-1 FA Cup third round replay victory there in 2007.

This weekend serves as a dress rehearsal for another FA Cup meeting between the sides, who were drawn against each other in Monday's third round draw.

Getting vital Championship points on the board is the priority this weekend, however, and Rowett's men travel north with a point to prove after last weekend's disappointment.

Can Birmingham win at St James' Park? Leave your predictions below.

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