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Team news: Midweek goalscorer Atsu starts

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Midweek goalscorer Christian Atsu has been handed a starting berth as Rafa Benitez makes two changes to the Magpies’ line-up.

Atsu – who netted United’s second at Wigan Athletic’s DW Stadium on Wednesday night – takes Yoan Gouffran’s place on the left flank, the Ghanaian’s last three appearances all having come from the substitutes’ bench.

Elsewhere, DeAndre Yedlin replaces Vurnon Anita at right-back as Newcastle aim to make sure they top the Sky Bet Championship table on Christmas Day.

United’s other marksman at Wigan, Mohamed Diame, continues his run in the starting XI, the Senegalese midfielder deployed just behind leading goalscorer Dwight Gayle.

Newcastle United: Karl Darlow; DeAndre Yedlin, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett; Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Mohamed Diame, Christian Atsu; Dwight Gayle.

Substitutes: Matz Sels, Chancel Mbemba, Achraf Lazaar, Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran, Ayoze Perez, Aleksandar Mitrovic.

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