The big news coming out of St James’ Park this week is that Dwight Gayle could miss the next month because of a recurrance of his hamstring injury. Whilst Benitez has refused to confirm the extent of the injury, he will definitely not be available for selection on Saturday. Aleksandar Mitrovic is therefore likely to lead the line.
Another who will miss out is Isaac Hayden, who is continuing rehab after an operation on his ankle. Jack Colback should therefore keep his place alongside Jonjo Shelvey.
Rolando Aarons has resumed training this week and is working his way back to fitness, but the next couple of fixtures will come too soon for the young Englishman. Vurnon Anita however, could well make the game.
Matt Ritchie was voted man of the match against Villa and will surely start, but whether Yoan Gouffran will keep his place, despite scoring, remains to be seen. Christian Atsu is pushing for a start.
Lee Johnson has come under huge pressure recently, and has been dealt a blow of his own ahead of the game. Their top goal-scorer Tammy Abraham is set to miss at least three weeks after picking up a thigh injury.
He will be joined by fellow absentee Mark Little, who has been missing because of a torn hamstring.
Marlon Pack has been an unused substitute for the previous three games, but may return to the heart of midfield for the away side. Gary O’Neil is another who will be hoping for a start.
Left-back Joe Bryan has been playing in a more advanced role of late and will likely remain there, especially to help out Golbourne in terms of defending. They will have their work cut out for them with Ritchie and DeAndre Yedlin bombing forward.
The absence of Abraham presents an opportunity for Lee Tomlin to come into the side. Although, Matty Taylor will also hope for another chance. Bosnian Milan Djuric will start alongside either one of the two.
Newcastle: Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Shelvey, Colback, Ritchie, Diame, Gouffran, Mitrovic
Bristol City: Giefer, Matthews, Flint, Wright, Golbourne, O’Neil, Hegeler, Cotterill, Bryan, Djuric, Tomlin
Score prediction: Newcastle United 5-1 Bristol City
The match is not scheduled for live television. You can follow the game by tuning into BBC Radio Newcastle’s live match commentary, courtesy of the official NUFC website.