Jonjo Shelvey snubbed again as Rafa Benitez names Newcastle United starting XI

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez has named an unchanged side for this afternoon's game against Southampton.

Newcastle United take on Ralph Hasenhuttl's side at St James's Park (5.30pm).

And Benitez will field the same team which beat beat Leicester City 1-0 at the King Power Stadium last week thanks to a goal from Ayoze Perez.

READ MORE: Rafa Benitez drops big hint on his Newcastle United future

Javier Manquillo is preferred to DeAndre in defence, while midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is again on the bench.

if Newcastle win and 18th-placed Cardiff City fail to beat Liverpool tomorrow, then Benitez's side would be mathematically safe because of their superior goal difference.

United's five-game winning run at home was brought to an end by Crystal Palace earlier this month.

"I said 38 points (would be enough) a long time ago," said manager Benitez.

"Cardiff have won a couple of games (since then), and now it's even more important for us to win another game, be sure everything is fine and then we can start thinking about how high we can go.

"I think (this match) could be similar to the Palace game, but hopefully the result will be different.

"Both teams are similar – they are very good on the counter attack, aggressive, and they have pace up front."

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie; Perez, Ki, Hayden, Almiron; Rondon. Subs: Darlow, Shelvey, Diame, Muto, Fernandez, Yedlin, Atsu.

SOUTHAMPTON: Gunn, Bednarek, Yoshida, Stephens, Bertrand, Hojbjerg, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Sims, Redmond. Subs: Forster, Long, Austin, Armstrong, Lemina, Slattery, Ramsay.