JOEY Barton has been dropped to the substitutes' bench for Newcastle's Championship opener at West Brom amid rumours of a training ground bust-up.
Barton is understood to have clashed with defender Fabricio Coloccini during training on Friday, and interim manager Chris Hughton has left him out of his starting line-up at the Hawthorns.
As a result, Kevin Nolan will revert to his preferred midfield position alongside Alan Smith, with Shola Ameobi partnering Andy Carroll in a two-man attack.
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Fabricio Coloccini partners Steven Taylor at the heart of the back four, with Ryan Taylor and Jose Enrique filling the full-back positions.
WEST BROM (4-4-2): Carson, Zuiverloon, Olsson, Martis, Cech, Koren, Greening, Mulumbu, Brunt, Wood, Moore.
Subs: Kiely, Barnett, Beattie, Dorrans, Reid, Teixera, Cox.
NEWCASTLE (4-4-2): Harper, R Taylor, S Taylor, Coloccini, Enrique, Gutierrez, Smith, Nolan, Duff, Ameobi, Carroll.
Subs: Krul, Barton, Xisco, Geremi, Lua Lua, Kadar, Ranger.