Newcastle United have made a sensational start to life in the Sky Bet Championship as they seek an immediate return to the Premier League.

The Magpies were relegated from the top-flight last season after a disastrous campaign, which saw Steve McClaren sacked and Rafa Benitez come in, although the Spaniard came in too late to prevent the club going down.

However, the former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager has stayed on at St James’ Park and has so far led the North East side to the top of the Championship, having won 10 of their 14 second tier matches.

They sit atop the league, three points clear of Brighton and Huddersfield Town, but turn their attentions to the EFL Cup on Tuesday when they host Simon Grayson’s Preston, who they then play at Deepdale in the league on Saturday.

Preston are ninth in the Championship, but are unbeaten in their last six league games, winning four.

Both sides are likely to make changes ahead of the game, which should provide ample opportunities for fringe players to stake a claim for a first team spot.

Here are THREE Newcastle players who deserve a chance against Preston…

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