Rafa Benitez to make EFL Cup changes – and Aleksandar Mitrovic WILL play

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic

Rafa Benitez will hand Aleksandar Mitrovic a start in Newcastle United's EFL Cup tie against Cheltenham Town.

Benitez is mulling over his options for tomorrow night's second-round tie at St James's Park.

The game comes three days after what proved to be a tough Championship fixture against Bristol City, which Newcastle won 1-0.

Mitrovic has now served a four-game suspension and will make his first appearance of the season against Cheltenham.

Asked if he would make changes for the tie, Benitez said: "I don't know how many, but we will change players.

"We don't want to take risks with anyone, but it has to be a team on the pitch capable of winning."

On the return of Mitrovic, Benitez added: "It's important because we didn't have too many options up front.

"I think he is a different kind of striker. He can give us some physicality too."

Asked if he would play, Benitez said: "I think so."

Benitez also pledged to take the rebranded EFL Cup seriously.

He said: "For us, very game is the most important game. We have to approach it like it's the most important game.

"Obviously, we have to change some players, but the players on the pitch have to be good enough."