COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Rafa Benitez is expected to make five changes to his side to face Burton on Saturday due to the busy Championship schedule.
The Magpies have played three matches this week, with their most recent fixture a Wednesday evening clash against Wigan.
The top of the league side have a vast amount of depth in their squad, which will allow them to make the changes ahead of the clash at the Pirelli Stadium.
The Chronicle reported on Friday afternoon that Aleksandar Mitrovic, Achraf Lazaar, DeAndre Yedlin and Chancel Mbemba all warmed up “rigorously” without seeing any pitch time against the Latics.
They are all expected to start against Burton with Wednesday substitute scorer Christian Atsu also coming into the line-up.
This is expected to see attacking duo Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie move out of the team alongside Ciaran Clark, Vurnon Anita and Paul Dummett.
Goalkeeper Kar Darlow is expected to keep his place between the sticks after overtaking summer signing Matz Seles earlier in the campaign.
He will be eager to keep his eighth clean sheet of the campaign behind a makeshift defence with Yedlin, Mbemba, Lazaar and captain Jamaal Lascelles.
The midfield will consist of usual high performers Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey behind attacking trio Atsu, Yoan Goufrran and midweek goalscorer Mohamed Diame.
Additionally, Serbia international Mitrovic will be looking to get on the score sheet against a defence which boasts a strong record despite their positioning.
The north east club will be looking for a victory, which could potentially move them four points clear against second placed Brighton depending on their result against Birmingham.
In other Newcastle team news, the Magpies must agree a deal in January for this rising Premier League star.