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

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

Gallowgate Flags
Gallowgate Flags

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.

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

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

There will be a Gallowgate Flags display before the game.

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

Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle

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

Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle