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Team news: Gayle starts

Written by Tom Easterby

Leading goalscorer Dwight Gayle will start up front for Newcastle United in Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Wigan Athletic at St. James' Park (3pm kick-off).

And the forward will have help from former Latics midfielder Mohamed Diame, who starts just behind him as Rafa Benitez's side look to consolidate their place at the top of the table.

Karl Darlow continues in goal, with Vurnon Anita and Paul Dummett as the two full backs and captain Jamaal Lascelles and Grant Hanley the two centre halves.

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

And Diame, who spent three years at the DW Stadium earlier in his career, will provide support for former Crystal Palace frontman Gayle further forward.

Rob Elliot will provide goalkeeping cover on the bench, with Jesus Gamez and Chancel Mbemba acting as the defensive reinforcements.

Midfielder Isaac Hayden is back from an ankle injury to take his place among the substitutes, with Christian AtsuAyoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic completing the list of players Benitez can call upon from the bench if required.

Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Karl Darlow; Vurnon Anita, Jamaal Lascelles (c), Grant Hanley, Paul Dummett; Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Colback, Yoan Gouffran; Mohamed Diame; Dwight Gayle.

Substitutes: Rob Elliot, Jesus Gamez, Chancel Mbemba, Isaac Hayden, Christian Atsu, Ayoze Perez, Aleksandar Mitrovic.

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