RAFAEL BENITEZ has made seven changes to his Newcastle United line-up for this afternoon's Premier League game with Brighton.

Only one of the changes is enforced, with Karl Darlow replacing the injured Rob Elliot in goal.

Benitez has switched to a flat back four after fielding five men at the back against Manchester City on Wednesday night.

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Ciaran Clark will partner Jamaal Lascelles at the heart of the back four, with Paul Dummett moving across to left-back.

Isaac Hayden returns to partner Mikel Merino at the heart of midfield, with Jonjo Shelvey dropping to the bench, with Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu set to fill the wide positions.

Dwight Gayle and Joselu will play alongside each other in attack as Newcastle look to avoid what would be a sixth successive home defeat.

NEWCASTLE (4-4-2): Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Ritchie, Hayden, Merino, Atsu; Gayle, Joselu.

Subs: Woodman (gk), Manquillo, Mbemba, Diame, Murphy, Shelvey, Perez.

BRIGHTON (4-2-3-1): Ryan; Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Bong; Stephens, Propper; Knockaert, Gross, March; Murray.

Subs: Krul (gk), Kayal, Goldson, Izquierdo, Schelotto, Baldock, Hemed.