Newcastle confirmed line-up v Aston Villa: Gayle starts in two changes
By Dominic Toner
Newcastle have made two changes to their starting XI for the home match against Aston Villa in the Championship.
The Magpies host the Midlands club on Monday night and will move to the top of the table with a victory.
Rafael Benitez has decided to make two alterations to his side from the team that drew 2-2 with Norwich last Tuesday.
Dwight Gayle has fully recovered from injury to retain his place in the side and is joined by Mohamed Diame.
Meanwhile, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez have been dropped to the bench.
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Newcastle announced their starting line-up against Villa on their official Twitter account.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) February 20, 2017
Newcastle are currently two points behind league leaders Brighton, but will be hoping to capitalise on their game on hand to leapfrog them.
Benitez’s side are unbeaten in their last six league matches and are expected to secure automatic promotion this season.
However, third-placed Huddersfield are currently chasing them down and are just five points adrift.
Newcastle and Villa played out a 1-1 draw in the previous meeting this season, but Steve Bruce’s side find themselves in poor form.
In other Newcastle team news, Jack Colback has identified the key to success this season.