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Team news: Elliot starts

Written by Tom Easterby

Rob Elliot will make his first appearance for Newcastle United in over a year on Monday night as the Magpies host Preston North End.

United are looking for the victory that will guarantee them promotion to the Premier League, and Rafa Benitez has opted to start Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Elliot, with Karl Darlow named among the substitutes.

It will be the 30-year-old’s first start since the 1-1 derby draw with Sunderland back in March 2016.

In front of him, Vurnon Anita, captain Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett make up the back four, with Clark returning from a knee injury that has kept him out of action since the defeat to Fulham last month.

Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Christian Atsu will line up in midfield, and Ayoze Perez will start just in front of them to offer attacking support.

And Aleksandar Mitrovic – who has scored four times in two outings against Preston this season – will lead the line at St. James’ Park.

Goalkeeper Darlow and defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Chancel Mbemba provide reinforcements from the bench, while Jack Colback, Yoan Gouffran, Mohamed Diame and Daryl Murphy are also named as substitutes by Benitez.

Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Rob Elliot; Vurnon Anita, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett; Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Christian Atsu; Ayoze Perez; Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Substitutes: Karl Darlow, DeAndre Yedlin, Chancel Mbemba, Jack Colback, Yoan Gouffran, Mohamed Diame, Daryl Murphy.

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