By Will Butcher

Rafa Benitez is expected to announce an unchanged Newcastle side to face Birmingham in Saturday’s Championship clash.

Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett both received their marching orders against Nottingham Forest, as nine-man Newcastle lost 2-1 to Philippe Montanier’s side.

However, their bans have been overturned which will allow Benitez to name his strongest Toon side as they look to secure three points at St. James’ Park.

Former Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow is expected to keep his place between the sticks after dislodging summer signing Matz Sels.

USA international Yedlin is likely to start ahead of Vurnon Anita, while captain Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark’s partnership goes from strength to strength at the heart of Newcastle’s defence.

The duo have kept five clean sheets in 12 games when starting in Benitez’s side, while Dummett starts despite receiving a red card for hauling down Henri Lansbury as the Toon’s last man last Friday.

Ahead of the defence, Shelvey is likely to dictate play from the base of midfield as he continues his fine form in Benitez’s side.

The England international is likely to partner summer signing Isaac Hayden.

Ayoze Perez will sit in the hole, as Mohamed Diame struggles to recapture the form that saw him star in Hull City’s automatic promotion from the Championship last season.

Matt Ritchie and Yoann Gouffran are set to terrorise the Birmingham defence from the flanks, while the Championship’s top scorer Dwight Gayle will be hoping to build on his 13 goal tally.

Without a win in three league and cup encounters, Newcastle will be hoping to grab three points and get back to winning ways.

A win against Gary Rowett’s high-flying Birmingham outfit could see the Magpies stretch their lead to four points at the Championship’s summit, if Leeds beat Brighton on Friday night.

In other Newcastle team news, here are three things we learned from the loss to Forest.