MX23RW : Tuesday, May 21 09:26:26| >> :600:64607119:64607119:
Apr 28, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 23,153
CardiffCardiff City
0-2
NewcastleNewcastle United
FT(HT: 0-0)
Atsu (55'), Hayden (65')

Team News: Rafael Benitez rings the changes

Rafael Benitez makes five changes to his Newcastle United side for the trip to Cardiff City.

Rafael Benitez has made five changes to his Newcastle United side for the trip to Cardiff City this evening.

The Spaniard opts to rest key players following the 4-1 win over Preston North End on Monday that sealed their return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Vurnon Anita, Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie had all been carrying knocks in recent weeks, playing on regardless, but have been left at home today, while Jonjo Shelvey and Aleksandar Mitrovic start the game on the bench.

Daryl Murphy returns to lead the line for the Magpies, who can cut the gap to leaders Brighton & Hove Albion to one point tonight, with Mohamed Diame back just behind him in an expected 4-4-1-1 formation.

Perez, who scored a brace against the Lilywhites, is joined in the middle of the park by Isaac Hayden, Christian Atsu and the returning Jack Colback.

Two changes in the back four see DeAndre Yedlin and Chancel Mbemba come in alongside Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett, while Rob Elliot retains his place between the sticks after returning last time out following 13 months on the sidelines with a cruciate ligament injury.

For the hosts, meanwhile, Neil Warnock makes six changes to the side that were held to a goalless draw at relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic last weekend.

Top scorer Kenneth Zohore was rested against the Latics but returns to lead the line tonight as Anthony Pilkington drops down to the bench.

The five-man midfield sees only Aron Gunnarsson and Kadeem Harris retain their places, with Peter Whittingham - possibly making his final appearance in South Wales - Junior Hoilett and Greg Halford coming in for Joe Ralls, Craig Noone and Mark Harris.

Jazz Richards is preferred to Matthew Connolly alongside Sean Morrison, Bruno Ecuele Manga and Joe Bennett in the back four, while Allan McGregor is in for Ben Amos between the sticks after missing the last game with illness.

Cardiff City: McGregor; Richards, Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bennett; Whittingham, Halford, Gunnarsson, K Harris, Hoilett; Zohore
Subs: Murphy, Peltier, Ralls, Noone, Pilkington, Connolly, Lambert

Newcastle United: Elliot; Yedlin, Mbemba, Clark, Dummett; Atsu, Hayden, Colback, Perez; Diame; Murphy
Subs: Darlow, Sterry, Haidara, Lazaar, Shelvey, Gouffran, Mitrovic

Keep up with all of the action from the Cardiff City Stadium tonight with Sports Mole's live text commentary here.

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Dwight Gayle in action for Newcastle United on September 24, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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