By Alex Taylor
Newcastle have made four changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Huddersfield Town last weekend as they prepare to take on Reading at St James’ Park.
The senior trio of new captain Jamaal Lascelles, Daryl Janmaat and Mohamed Diamé have all been dropped for the fixture, while youngster Rolando Aarons is also omitted.
The Magpies go into the game in 21st in the Championship table having lost both their opening matches in England’s second-tier.
Dwight Gayle has retained his place after his goal on the hour mark at the John Smith’s Stadium four days ago.
Gayle will be flanked by Matt Ritchie, the former Bournemouth right-winger was man of the Match in the Tynesiders opening Championship clash against Fulham and has survived an injury scare to start today’s match.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 17, 2016
Ayoze Perez has been given another chance to impress Rafa Benitez’s in a number 10 role as Yoan Gouffran starts on the left-side of Newcastle’s front-line
Jonjo Shelvey and 21-year-old Isaac Hayden will act as the defensive cover to Newcastle’s shaky defence as they aim to keep their first clean sheet of their domestic campaign.
Ciaran Clarke will play his debut game in front of a home crowd tonight in the Championship following his move from Aston Villa earlier this summer next to Chancel Mbemba at the heart of the northerners defence.
Vurnon Anita and Paul Dummett will operate as the left and right wing-backs respectively in front of Matz Sels in goal.
In other Newcastle team news, Rafa Benitez has revealed Newcastle’s tactical masterplan to break down defensively solid teams.