By Harry Sykes
Rafa Benitez has made four changes to the Newcastle starting line-up for Tuesday’s Championship trip to Queens Park Rangers.
The Magpies won 2-0 away at Derby County on Saturday, but a run of five successive victories and four clean sheets in a row has not deterred Benitez from shuffling his pack at Loftus Road.
Defender Ciaran Clark, midfielder Isaac Hayden and forwards Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic are all recalled to the team.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 13, 2016
They replace Chancel Mbemba, who is rested, and Jack Colback, Mohamed Diame and Dwight Gayle, who are all relegated to the substitutes’ bench.
United are expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Belgian goalkeeper Matz Sels behind a back four of Vurnon Anita, captain Jamaal Lascelles, Clark and Paul Dummett.
Hayden will join Jonjo Shelvey in the middle of the park, with a trio of Matt Ritchie, Perez and Yoan Gouffran ahead of them.
And they will be tasked with supplying the ammunition for Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has only featured in the EFL Cup so far this term.
Joining Colback, Diame and Gayle on the substitutes’ bench are new signing Christian Atsu, Grant Hanley, DeAndre Yedlin and Karl Darlow.
In other Newcastle team news, Benitez has explained the turnaround in form of a player labelled a genius by a Sky Sports pundit.