Team news: Skipper returns to face Rochdale
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Skipper Jamaal Lascelles is back in Newcastle United’s starting line-up as the Magpies look to see off Rochdale in tonight’s FA Cup Third Round replay.
Lascelles – who returned from Dubai at the weekend following a week’s worth of warm weather training – hasn’t figured for United since November’s win over Bournemouth at St. James’ Park, but returns to the fray as Steve Bruce names a strong side against the League One outfit.
Karl Darlow and Matt Ritchie start for the first time since August’s Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester, the latter having fully recovered from the ankle injury he picked up that night. Ritchie lines up on the left of a five-man backline, with Emil Krafth on the right and Isaac Hayden, Florian Lejeune and Lascelles in the centre.
In midfield, the Longstaff brothers start together for the third game in succession in all competitions, while Christian Atsu and in-form Miguel Almirón will look to provide support to lone frontman Joelinton.
On the bench, there is a spot for Jonjo Shelvey, who missed the first tie at Spotland as well as Saturday’s Premier League draw at Wolves, and youngster Tom Allan.