Dwight Gayle returns to Newcastle's starting XI as Henri Lansbury lines up for Villa

Gallowgate Flags
Gallowgate Flags

Rafa Benitez has named his starting XI for tonight's home game against Aston Villa.

Second-placed Newcastle United take on Steve Bruce's struggling side in a televised Championship fixture (8pm kick-off).

Fit-again Dwight Gayle makes his first start in more than a month at the expense of Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is among the substitutes.

LIVE: Newcastle United v Aston Villa – All the build up, team news and live updates from tonight's Championship clash

Henri Lansbury, involved in the incidents which saw Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett dismissed in December, is in the visiting team.

There will be a Gallowgate Flags display before the game.

Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle

Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle

United manager Benitez said: "I know that the Gallowgate Flags group have organised another display for tonight's game. Hopefully, the rest of the fans will join them in creating a similar atmosphere to our last home game against Derby, which was really good."

A win would take them above league leaders Brighton and Hove Albion, who beat Barnsley at the weekend.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Colback, Shelvey; Ritchie, Diame, Gouffran; Gayle. Subs: Elliot, Hanley, Lazaar, Perez, Gamez, Atsu, Mitrovic.

ASTON VILLA: Johnstone, Hutton, Elphick, Chester, Taylor, Jedinak, Hourihane, Lansbury, Bjarnason, Kodjia, Hogan. Subs: Bunn, Baker, Bacuna, Gardner, Amavi, Adomah, Grealish.