Alexander Isak makes shock Newcastle United start as Eddie Howe makes eight FA Cup changes

Alexander Isak will make his long-awaited comeback from injury at Hillsborough – but Allan Saint-Maximin isn’t involved.
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Isak, sidelined since September with a thigh injury, will start this afternoon’s third-round FA Cup tie against League One side Sheffield Wednesday. However, Saint-Maximin is not in the squad due to illness.

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Eddie Howe explains absence from Newcastle United's bench

Martin Dubravka, recalled from a loan at Manchester United, makes his first Newcastle start since last May, while Javier Manquillo, Jamaal Lascelles, Jamal Lewis, Elliot Anderson, Jacob Murphy and Matt Ritchie also come into the team.

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Speaking yesterday, head coach Eddie Howe said: "I think you always (want to give) people opportunities to play and stake their own claims to play more regularly in the Premier League. But you’ve got to get the balance right between making changes and trying to win the game.”

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka, Manquillo, Lascelles, Botman, Lewis, Anderson, Longstaff, Joelinton, Murphy, Isak, Ritchie. Subs: Subs: Darlow, Trippier, Dummett, Wood, Fraser, Almiron, Willock, Burn, Guimaraes.