Dwight Gayle recalled to Newcastle's starting XI, Ayoze Perez dropped

Dwight Gayle has been recalled to Newcastle United's starting XI.

Dwight Gayle and Mohamed Diame
Dwight Gayle and Mohamed Diame

Rafa Benitez's side take on Bournemouth at St James's Park this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

And Gayle has been handed his first Premier League start since August's defeat to Huddersfield.

The striker comes in for Ayoze Perez, who has been named on the bench.

United manager Benitez is without influential midfielder Mikel Merino, who is facing several weeks on the sidelines.

Newcastle are ninth in the Premier League table.

Meanwhile, former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe is on the visiting bench along with ex-United midfielder Dan Gosling.

Jermain Defoe

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Bournemouth are 19th in the table.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo; Shelvey, Hayden; Ritchie, Gayle, Atsu; Joselu. Subs: Darlow, Gamez, Clark, Diame, Murphy, Perez, Mitrovic.

BOURNEMOUTH: Begovic, Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels, Ibe, Arter, Surman, Pugh, King, Wilson. Subs: Boric, Gosling, Smith, Cook, Defoe, Fraser, Mousset.

Jermain Defoe