By Coral Barry
Jonjo Shelvey has been named as captain of a much changed Newcastle side to face Stoke.
Newcastle have not played since the 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea on 13 February and make four changes from that team.
Defenders Paul Dummet and Jamaal Lascelles, midfielder Jack Colback and forward Yoan Gouffran all return to the starting eleven.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 2, 2016
Shelvey takes the armband from the injured Fabricio Coloccini while Gouffran comes in for Andros Townsend, who is nursing a hamstring problem.
The Magpies have lost 16 of their last 20 away league games including the last five in a row.
In fact in their last 20 away league games, Newcastle have scored just nine goals but conceded 48.
In a 4-2-3-1 formation top goalscorer Georginio Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko and Gouffran will be expected to provide the service for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Steve McClaren’s can climb out of the relegation zone tonight with a win if Swansea lose to Arsenal.
Newcastle XI: Elliot; Janmaat, Taylor, Lascelles, Dummett; Colback, Shelvey; Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Gouffran; Mitrovic.