By Dominic Toner
Rafael Benitez is set to make drastic changes to his Newcastle side on Tuesday.
The Magpies host Championship rivals Preston in the EFL Cup fourth-round and both teams are in great form.
Preston are unbeaten in the last seven games in all competitions and knocked out Premier League opposition Bournemouth in the last round.
Benitez is still set to make changes to his team and will be thinking about their next league match at the weekend, which is also against Preston.
Newcastle have climbed to first in the Championship table and Benitez is set to prioritise his league fixtures.
Matz Sels, Vurnon Anita, Chancel Mbemba, Isaac Hayden, Mohamed Diame, Christian Atsu and Aleksandar Mitrovic are set to come into the side for the cup clash.
Karl Darrow, DeAndre Yedlin, Jamaal Lascelles, Jack Colback, Jonjo Shelvey, Yohan Gouffran and Dwight Gayle are expected to be handed a rest.
Newcastle are unbeaten in their seven games in all competitions and the squad will be confident ahead of the cup meeting.
Sels, 24, is expected to earn his 10th appearance of the season in goal after recently losing his place to Darlow.
Newcastle have kept consecutive clean sheet in the league and that has helped them rise to first in the Championship, so Mbemba and Anita will hope to impress if given opportunities.
Matt Ritchie and Ayoze Perez are set to keep their place in the side after helping Newcastle defeat Ipswich 3-0 last Saturday.
Forward Perez netted two goals to give him side a comfortable advantage, including scoring after just 60 seconds, before Richie added a late goal to seal the three points.
In other Newcastle team news, the club’s supporters reacted on Twitter to Perez’s performance against Ipswich.