Newcastle unchanged for third game as Mikel Merino comes in from the cold

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has named an unchanged side for the third successive game.

Benitez's take on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

And Benitez has fielded the team which beat Huddersfield Town and Southampton at home last month.

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United's manager has recalled midfielder Mikel Merino to his bench, while striker Islam Slimani, on loan from Leicester, is not eligible to play.

Striker Joselu is also among the substitutes, having recover from an injury.

Mikel Merino

Mikel Merino

Newcastle are 12th in the Premier League and seven points above the relegation zone.

Benitez said: "I have to make sure we do not have any complacency and that everybody is concentrated.

"It's not done yet. The target is still 40 points ,and we have to get there.

“I don’t think we can relax. If we get 40, we will try to get more, but 40 is still the number. We don’t need to talk anything else."

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejuene, Dummett; Diame, Shelvey; Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy; Gayle. Subs: Darlow, Clark, Manquillo, Hayden, Merino, Atsu, Joselu.

LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel, Simpson, Chilwell, Morgan, Vardy, Albrighton, Silva, Maguire, Iborra, Mahrez, Diabate. Subs: Jakupovic, Gray, Iheanacho, Dragovic, Okazaki, Fuchs, Choudhury.