Suspended striker to make return in Benitez 4-2-3-1: Best Newcastle XI to face Cheltenham Town
By Will Butcher
Serbian goal-getter Aleksander Mitrovic is expected to return to first-team duty for the first time this season in Newcastle’s EFL Cup tie against Cheltenham on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old had been banned for four matches after being sent off for a dangerous tackle on Tottenham’s Kyle Walker in the Magpies’ last Premier League game.
Speaking to the Magpies’ official website ahead of Tuesday’s second round encounter, the former Liverpool boss said the Serbian striker was different.
“We don’t have too many options up-front, but Mitrovic is a different kind of striker.”
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Newcastle’s number 45 could be one of five changes as Benitez looks to keep his squad fresh ahead of their Championship match against promotion hopefuls Brighton on Saturday.
New signing Grant Hanley is expected to return to the side for the first time since the opening day loss to Fulham, following his £5.5million move from rivals Blackburn.
Goalkeeper Karl Darlow could also get a run out between the sticks, while in-demand full-back Paul Dummett could come in for Ciaran Clark.
Central midfielders Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden are set to retain their starting places, while Ayoze Perez could come in to the number 10 role for Mo Diame. Yoann Gouffran is also expected to start after impressing against Bristol City.
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