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Newcastle United will welcome 19th placed Burton Albion to the St. James’ Park on Tuesday in the EFL Championship.
The Magpies will look to keep their momentum going, after winning their previous Championship game 2-1 against Wigan Athletic on Saturday. Rafael Benitez’s men are at the summit of the standings in the second-tier, just a point ahead of second-placed Brighton and will be hoping to widen the gap with a win against Burton Albion. The last time the two sides met, Newcastle ran out 2-1 winners.
Rolando Aarons has resumed training with the team, after having been out since August, but will not be rushed into action by Benitez. Isaac Hayden is fit as well, having played for a few minutes against Wigan. Ciaran Clark is being assessed on a day by day basis and may well be in line for a return. DeAndre Yedlin remains the only long-term unavailability for Newcastle.
The 26-year old has been brilliant in goal for Newcastle this term and has kept 12 clean sheets from 30 appearances in the Championship. Will undoubtedly start between the sticks.
At right-back, with DeAndre Yedlin unavailable, we expect Benitez to stick with Vurnon Anita ahead of Jesus Gamez. The Dutchman had a decent game against Wigan on Saturday and will look to put in a similar display against the Brewers.
The captain has been an absolute rock at the back for the Magpies this season and has missed just one game. A Certain starter.
Alongside Lascelles, we expect Hanley to keep his place in the heart of the defence as there are concerns over the fitness of Ciaran Clark.
The 25-year old has been another mainstay in the backline for Newcastle this season. Offers a reliable and a steady presence. Will definitely start at left-back.
In the middle of the park, Jonjo Shelvey will keep his place as one of the two pivots. He will be tasked with providing the drive and creativity from the midfield.
Alongside him, we expect a change, with Isaac Hayden in line for a return to playing XI in place of Jack Colback. The former Arsenal man was brilliant until he got injured, but made his return against Wigan on Saturday.
The winger has been the difference for Newcastle in recent weeks and has been their star performer. There’s no way that he would sit out this game.
Despite his obvious ineffectiveness, Benitez has shown great willingness to stick with Mo Diame through the middle. Expect it to stay the same.
And on the left-flank, Yoan Gouffran could be dropped in favour of Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu. Frenchman Gouffran has struggled to make any kind of impact in recent weeks and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him sit this one out.
Leading the line will be club’s leading goal-scorer Dwight Gayle (22 goals). The former Crystal Palace man got on the scoresheet against Wigan and will look to give Chris Wood (24 goals) a run for his money for the golden boot title.