Aleksandar Mitrovic, Chancel Mbemba and Jesus Gamez start for Newcastle

Isaac Hayden, Aleksandar Mitrovic and DeAndre Yedlin
Isaac Hayden, Aleksandar Mitrovic and DeAndre Yedlin

Rafa Benitez has made SIX changes for Newcastle United's home game against Blackburn Rovers.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jesus Gamez, Chancel Mbemba, DeAndre Yedlin, Christian Atsu and Isaac Hayden come into his starting XI.

Leading scorer Dwight Gayle and captain Jamaal Lascelles are surprisingly among the substitutes.

Benitez's Championship-leading side take on the league's third-bottom team at St James's Park this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

United are five points clear at the top of the division after a run of eight successive league victories.

Two goals from Gayle saw Newcastle beat Leeds United 2-0 at Elland Road last weekend.

United manager Benitez is without injured pair Jack Colback and Grant Hanley.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Yedlin, Mbemba, Clark, Gamez; Shelvey, Hayden; Ritchie, Perez, Atsu; Mitrovic. Subs: Sels, Dummett, Lascelles, Anita, Gayle, Diame, Gouffran.

BLACKBURN ROVERS: Steele, Marshall, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Feeney, Lowe, Evans, Conway, Graham, Gallagher.

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