Henri Saivet handed start as Rafa Benitez names surprise Newcastle starting XI

Henri Saivet has been handed a shock start against West Ham United.

Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 1:02 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 1:25 pm
Henri Saivet

The forgotten Newcastle United midfielder will make his first Premier League appearance of the season at the London Stadium this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Saivet's only previous appearance this season came in the Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest in August.

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The 27-year-old, signed from Bordeaux 18 months ago, spent last season on loan at Saint-Etienne.

Benitez, already without Aleksandar Mitrovic, mentioned a number of injury "problems" ahead of the fixture.

And Newcastle's manager is without Mikel Merino, Isaac Hayden and Florian Lejeune along with the suspended Jonjo Shelvey.

Rafa Benitez

The 18th-placed club will take on West Ham looking to end a run of nine games without a win.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo; Ritchie, Saivet, Diame, Atsu; Gayle, Joselu. Subs: Darlow, Dummett, Haidara, Mbemba, Murphy, Aarons, Perez.

WEST HAM UNITED: Adrian; Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta; Kouyate, Obiang; Masuaku, Ayew, Arnautovic; Antonio.

Rafa Benitez