United's under-21 side arrive at Villa Park

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

James Tavernier skippers a strong Newcastle second-string side at Villa Park for tonight's Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixture.

The defender - who captained the Magpies when they beat the Villans in the final of the Citibank Hong Kong Football Club International Soccer Sevens tournament in May - has been chosen by Reserve Team Manager Willie Donachie to lead the team despite several more experienced players also being included.

Spanish striker Xisco, French new boy Romain Amalfitano and ex-England under-21 international Dan Gosling are United's three permitted overage players and all three start.

Jak Alnwick - named on the bench in Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash against Manchester United - is in goal with Conor Newton at right-back, Michael Riley on the left and Tavernier partnering 16-year-old Slovakian Lubo Satka in the centre of defence.

Adam Campbell will play on the right hand side of midfield with Amalfitano on the left. Gosling and Mehdi Abeid make up the engine room.

Haris Vuckic plays behind Xisco, making his first Newcastle appearance since the summer of 2011.

England under-17 youngster Freddie Woodman, 15, is the substitute goalkeeper, with Bradden Inman, Marcus Maddison, Brandon Miele and JJ Hooper the other options for Donachie and Football Development Manager Peter Beardsley.

For Villa, Nathan Baker, Enda Stevens, Samir Carruthers, Ashley Westwood and Graham Burke all boast senior experience.

Aston Villa Under-21s: Benji Siegrist, Courtney Cameron, Enda Stevens, Ashley Westwood, Daniel Devine, Nathan Baker, Daniel Johnson (c), Samir Carruthers, Jordan Bowery, Graham Burke, Andras Stieber

Substitutes: Liam Bateman, Calum Barrett, Jordan Graham, Mason Watkins-Clark, Malcolm Melvin

Newcastle United Under-21s: Jak Alnwick, Conor Newton, James Tavernier (c), Lubo Satka, Michael Riley, Adam Campbell, Mehdi Abeid, Dan Gosling, Romain Amalfitano, Haris Vuckic, Xisco

Substitutes: Freddie Woodman, Bradden Inman, Marcus Maddison, Brandon Miele, JJ Hooper