By Russell Edge

16th Sep, 2017 | 2:14pm

Newcastle United confirmed line-up v Stoke: Defensive duo dropped in three changes

By Russell Edge

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has made three changes to his side for their home clash against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

The Magpies confirmed on their official Twitter account that defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Chancel Mbemba both return from injury in place of Javier Manquillo and Jesus Gamez, while Christian Atsu returns to the starting XI in place of Jacob Murphy.

The North East side come into this match on the back of a 1-0 victory away at Swansea courtesy of captain Jamaal Lascelles’ match winning header, making it two wins on the bounce after a 3-0 victory at home to West Ham.

The 23-year-old centre back is partnered by Ciaran Clark at the heart of the defence, while American international Yedlin returns at right back for his first start of the season after an injury layoff.

Mikel Merino and Isaac Hayden are Benitez’s preferred options in the centre of the park, with Jonjo Shelvey yet to make a start following his return from suspension after his red card on the opening day of the season.

Click below for exclusive transfer news

Out wide, Christian Atsu starts with Matt Ritchie, while Ayoze Perez will play in the number 10 role just behind centre forward Joselu, who continues to keep last season’s top scorer Dwight Gayle on the bench.

Victory for the Magpies could see them go level with reigning Premier League champions Chelsea, who currently sit in third with nine points.

In other Newcastle United news, this striker has hit out after a lack of game time.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Newcastle United breaking news.