By Danny Wright
Newcastle could make two changes to their starting line-up to face Brighton in a crucial Championship clash on Tuesday.
Rafa Benitez’s side rescued a point against lowly Bristol City in a 2-2 draw on Saturday, but the result cost them of top spot in the league as Brighton eased past Reading.
Dwight Gayle could be in line to return to the side in place of Aleksandar Mitrovic after he limped off against Aston Villa last Monday.
The 22-year-old has deputised in place of Gayle while he was out injured. Despite receiving praise from the Newcastle supporters for his good performances, he has only managed to score one goal in his last 14 games in all competitions.
Benitez could also be expected to drop Jack Colback after his poor performance against Bristol. He could be replaced by Mohamed Diame who came on for the former Sunderland man in the 58th minute on Saturday.
The Magpies will still be without Isaac Hayden and Rolando Aarons with injury, but Vurnon Anita could make a comeback after his recent spell on the side-lines with an ankle injury. However with Diame fully fit, Benitez may not choose to take a risk on the Dutchman who has missed the last nine matches.
Karl Darlow and Paul Dummett were responsible for a couple of mistakes in the Bristol game but they will most likely keep their place in the side as the defence is not expected to undergo a shuffle.
Jonjo Shelvey and Ayoze Perez will keep their places in the midfield with Matt Richie and Christian Atsu providing support to Gayle on the wings.
A win for the Toon Army on Tuesday would see them leapfrog Brighton to retake the top spot in the Championship. However anything less will not do it as they go into their next two games against fellow promotion chasers Huddersfield and Reading.
In other Newcastle news, three things learned about Saturday’s stalemate with Bristol.