Mikel Merino joined on Newcastle bench by Aleksandar Mitrovic

Joselu and Aleksandar Mitrovic
Joselu and Aleksandar Mitrovic

Rafa Benitez has named an unchanged starting XI for this afternoon's game against Crystal Palace.

Newcastle United take on the Premier League's basement club at St James's Park (3pm kick-off).

And midfielder Mikel Merino is joined on the bench by striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who hasn't played for the club since serving a three-game ban for elbowing West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini in late August.

Newcastle are ninth in the table ahead of the game.

Palace claimed their first points of the season last weekend when they beat champions Chelsea at Selhurst Park.

United manager Benitez said: "We cannot approach this game with over-confidence, because it'll be a tough game.

Mikel Merino

Mikel Merino

"Their victory against Chelsea last week will have given them a boost and they will come here with some confidence, which means they will be more dangerous."

Former Newcastle trio Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and Patrick van Aanholt are in Palace's starting XI.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo; Hayden, Shelvey; Ritchie, Perez, Atsu; Joselu. Subs: Darlow, Gamez, Clark, Merino, Diame, Murphy, Mitrovic.

CRYSTAL PALACE: Speroni, Ward, van Aanholt, Milivojevic, Dann, Cabaye, Townsend, Zaha, Sakho, Schlupp, McArthur. Subs: Hennessey, Tomkins, Loftus-Cheek, Fosu-Mensah, Sako, Puncheon, Riedewald.