AYOZE Perez has been left out of Newcastle United’s starting XI against Aston Villa – in favour of Emmanuel Riviere.
The forward has been replaced by striker Riviere in a surprise move from head coach John Carver.
Riviere, signed from Monaco last summer, is still looking for his first Premier League goal.
Perez, instead, is among the substitutes for this afternoon’s game at St James’s Park (3pm kick-off).
Fit-again Jonas Gutierrez is also on the bench for the first time since beating testicular cancer.
Midfielder Mehdi Abeid and winger Gabriel Obertan also come into the starting XI, while Yoan Gouffran drops down to the bench.
Carver is without suspended midfielder Jack Colback, who picked up a two-game ban in last weekend’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Carver’s side are 11th in the Premier League. Relegation-threatened Villa are second from bottom of the division.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Janmaat; Williamson, Coloccini, Haidara; Obertan, Sissoko, Abeid, Ameobi; Riviere, Cisse. Subs: Woodman, R Taylor, Anita, Gouffran, Gutierrez, Armstrong, Perez.
ASTON VILLA: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Clark, Lowton, Sinclair, Delph, Cleverley, Westwood, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Bacuna, Weimann, Sanchez, Gil, N’Zogbia, Grealish.