MATZ SELS is a surprise absentee from Newcastle United's starting line-up to face Norwich City this evening.

Sels, who was the only league ever-present in the Magpies' opening nine Championship matches, has paid the price for another error-strewn display in last weekend's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

Rafael Benitez had hinted the Belgian would retain his place despite coming in for sustained criticism on social media this week, but instead he finds himself on the substitutes' bench, with Karl Darlow elevated to the starting XI.

The only other change to the team that drew at Villa Park sees Jack Colback preferred to Isaac Hayden at the base of midfield.

Dwight Gayle continues in attack, with Aleksandar Mitrovic on the bench, with Mo Diame preferred to Ayoze Perez in the 'number ten' role behind him.

NEWCASTLE (4-2-3-1): Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Colback; Ritchie, Diame, Gouffran; Gayle.

Subs: Sels (gk), Lazaar, Mbemba, Hayden, Atsu, Perez, Mitrovic.

NORWICH (4-2-3-1): McGovern; Pinto, Martin, Bassong, Olsson; Tettey, Dorrans; Ja. Murphy, Howson, Brady; Jerome.

Subs: Ruddy (gk), Bennett, Jo. Murphy, Thompson, Hoolahan, Oliveira, Naismith.