Dwight Gayle and Christian Atsu return to Newcastle starting XI

Rafa Benitez has named his starting XI for Newcastle United's game against Fulham.

Saturday, 11th March 2017, 1:07 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:02 am
Dwight Gayle

The two clubs take each other on at St James's Park in the Championship this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

And Rafa Benitez, celebrating his first anniversary at Newcastle, has made four changes.

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Dwight Gayle, Christian Atsu, Mohamed Diame and Vurnon Anita all come into Benitez's starting XI, while Aleksandar Mitrovic is among the substitutes.

Benitez said: "Today marks the anniversary of the day I became manager of this great club and that makes me very proud."

United's manager is without DeAndre Yedlin, Isaac Hayden and Rolando Aarons through injury, while Jamie Sterry has undergone a groin operation.

Newcastle lead the division from Brighton and Hove Albion on goal difference.

Fulham, seventh in the table, need a win to keep their hopes of a play-off place alive.

Meanwhile, if Matt Ritchie and Jack Colback, both on nine yellow cards, avoid a booking against Fulham, they will have the threat of a two-game suspension lifted.

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

FULHAM: Button, Malone, Odoi, McDonald, Kebano, Cairney, Ream, Johansen, Aluko, Kalas, Sessegnon. Subs: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Parker, Madl, Sigurdsson, Cyriac. Martin.