Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic STARTS against Cardiff

Aleksandar Mitrovic, centre
Aleksandar Mitrovic, centre
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Aleksandar Mitrovic starts for Newcastle United against Cardiff City this afternoon.

Fit-again striker Dwight Gayle has been named on the bench for the Championship fixture (3pm kick-off).

United manager Benitez had discussed the decision at his pre-match Press conference yesterday.

READ MORE: Read what Rafa Benitez had to say about Neil Warnock ahead of Newcastle's game against Cardiff

Forward Ayoze Perez is recalled in place of Mohamed Diame, who is also among the substitutes.

And Christian Atsu, as expected, comes in for the suspended Matt Ritchie.

Benitez's side are looking to extend their three-point lead at the top of the league.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Newcastle team: Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Hayden; Atsu, Perez, Gouffran; Mitrovic. Subs: Sels, Anita, Hanley, Lazaar, Colback, Diame, Gayle.

CARDIFF CITY: Amos, Bennett, Morrison, Bamba, Ralls, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Hoilett, Noone, Lambert. Subs: Wilson, Manga, Whittingham, Gounongbe, O'Keefe, Harris, Chamakh.

Go to our live Newcastle v Cardiff live blog here