Newcastle United's Elliot Anderson left out as Allan Saint-Maximin returns for Aston Villa

Allan Saint-Maximin’s back in Newcastle United's squad for this afternoon’s game against Aston Villa.

Eddie Howe has named an unchanged starting Xi for the game, and Saint-Maximin, sidelined since the start of the month after suffering a setback on his return from a hamstring injury, is among the substitutes at St James’s Park.

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“He’s made really good progress," said Howe. "I’m very pleased with how he’s attacked his rehab, and the work he’s put in, so there’s an opportunity, hopefully, to get Maxi fit and available. Currently, Maxi’s really good, he’s in a very good place.

Elliot Anderson, left out of last weekend’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur because of a “minor niggle”, is not involved again. Speaking yesterday, Howe said: “Elliot’s OK. He had a minor niggle, nothing serious. He’s back in the squad this week.”

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is again on the bench after recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered in the summer. Howe said: "He’s got real qualities that we need. He’s got experience, understands his position – and he’s got that range of passing that the team clearly needs.”

Meanwhile, Villa are also unchanged following their win over Brentford last weekend. Fit-again defender Lucas Digne is on the visiting bench.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Willock; Almiron, Wilson, Joelinton. Subs: Karius, Lascelles, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin, Targett, Manquillo, Wood, Fraser, Murphy.

Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin.

ASTON VILLA: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young, Dendoncker, Luiz, Buendia, Watkins, Ings, Bailey. Subs: Olsen, McGinn, Sanson, Chambers, Bednarek, Coutinho, Digne, Archer, Ramsey.