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Christian Atsu arriving to a match

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Team news: Atsu and Ayoze start

Written by Tom Easterby

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has handed starts to Christian Atsu and Ayoze Perez ahead of the Sky Bet Championship clash with Bristol City on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Benitez - who  takes charge of his 50th United game this weekend - has made three changes from the team that beat Aston Villa 2-0 on Monday night, with on-loan Atsu coming in for Yoan Gouffran, Perez replacing Mohamed Diame and Aleksandar Mitrovic in for Dwight Gayle.


Karl Darlow continues in goal, with DeAndre Yedlin, captain Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett the settled-looking back four.


Scotland international Matt Ritchie starts wide on the right, with Jack Colback partnering Jonjo Shelvey in the middle of the park and Atsu on the left.


And Mitrovic is preferred to Daryl Murphy up front. The Serbian frontman will have support from Perez, who will start just behind him.


Vurnon Anita returns to the squad after over a month out through injury, while goalkeeper Rob Elliot, Jesus Gamez and Grant Hanley provide defensive reinforcements.


Gouffran, Diame and Murphy complete the list of substitutes for the visit of the Robins.


Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Karl Darlow; DeAndre Yedlin, Jamaal Lascelles (c), Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett; Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Colback, Christian Atsu; Ayoze Perez; Aleksnadar Mitrovic.


Substitutes: Rob Elliot, Jesus Gamez, Vurnon Anita, Grant Hanley, Mohamed Diame, Yoan Gouffran, Daryl Murphy.

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