Rookie Newcastle defender Kevin Mbabu handed full debut against Chelsea

Kevin Mbabu
Kevin Mbabu

Aleksandar Mitrovic returns to Newcastle United’s starting XI this evening – after serving a three-match ban.

Mitrovic leads the line for Steve McClaren’s side side at St James’s Park.

And defender Kevin Mbabu makes his full debut at full-back in the absence of the injured Massadio Haidara.

The 20-year-old has played just 45 minutes of competitive senior football since joining from Swiss club Servette in January 2013.

Mbabu came off the bench to make his debut in the midweek defeat to Sheffield Wednesday after Daryl Janmaat was forced off with sickness.

He didn’t make an appearance for Rangers during a half-seadson loan at Ibrox last term.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Midfielder Jack Colback has been passed fit to play after recovering from a calf problem.

And captain Fabricio Coloccini returns to the starting XI after sitting out the Capital One Cup defeat to Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are without the suspended Diego Costa.

Former Newcastle forward Loic Remy instead leads the line for the visitors, who have been beaten on their last three outings at St James’s Park.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Mbabu; Sissoko, Anita, Colback, Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic. Subs: Elliot, Williamson, Lascelles, Obertan, Thauvin, de Jong, Toney.

CHELSEA: Begovic; Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Pedro, Oscar, Hazard; Remy. Subs: Blackman, Terry, Mikel, Ramires, Willian, Kenedy, Falcao.