By Harry Sykes
Jamaal Lascelles has been restored to the Newcastle line-up as Rafael Benitez makes three changes for Saturday’s clash against Bristol City.
Lascelles, Jack Colback and Mohamed Diame replace Paul Dummett, Jonjo Shelvey and Ayoze Perez from the team that thrashed Reading 4-1 in midweek.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 20, 2016
Benitez demoted recently appointed Newcastle skipper Lascelles to the substitute’s bench against Reading, a decision which left the club’s supporters baffled on Twitter before kick-off.
But the centre-back returns at City for Saturday’s Championship clash to partner Chancel Mbemba, with £5million summer signing Ciaran Clark switched to left-back in place of Dummett.
Further forward, Diame replaces Perez in the playmaker role and Colback is selected ahead of Shelvey in central midfield.
Bristol City expect their largest home crowd since 1994 for Newcastle’s visit.
Dwight Gayle has scored three goals in his last two league games for Newcastle. He has not scored in three consecutive league games since December 2012 when he scored in six consecutively for Peterborough – the last game in that run being against Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
In other Newcastle team news, West Ham have lined up a move for an experienced Magpies player.