COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Newcastle are expected to make three changes for their Championship encounter against Blackburn on Saturday afternoon.
The Magpies will likely recall DeAndre Yedlin, Isaac Hayden and Mohamed Diame for the St James’ Park clash.
Attacker Ayoze Perez alongside Vurnon Anita and Jack Colback could drop out of the starting eleven and be the latest victims of Rafa Benitez’s rotation policy at the club.
Star forward Dwight Gayle will likely lead the line after scoring an impressive nine goals in his last six appearances.
He will probably be supported by Diame, who has so far failed to establish himself in the side following his summer transfer from Hull.
Matt Ritchie and Yoan Gouffran will provide the width on the wings and the duo have bagged eight goals and provided 10 in 33 appearances between them this season.
Central pair Jonjo Shelvey and Hayden are set to make up the team’s midfield and both players have received their plaudits this campaign.
Behind them is likely to see a defence of Yedlin, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett.
The Magpies boast the joint second best defensive record in the Championship and they will be keen to maintain their high standards.
Additionally, Karl Darlow, who won the goalkeeper spot from Matz Sels earlier in the campaign will be looking for his seventh clean sheet from 11 appearances this season.
The north east club currently top the Championship with 40 points from 19 fixtures, while their weekend opponents are battling at the other end of the table in 22nd.
In other Newcastle team news, this Toon player has given an update on his fitness on Twitter.