Jonjo Shelvey to face Leeds United as Newcastle United star pleads not guilty to FA charge

Jonjo Shelvey has pleaded his innocence (Pic PA)
Jonjo Shelvey has pleaded his innocence (Pic PA)
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Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey will be available for Sunday’s clash with Leeds United after pleading not guilty to a Football Association misconduct charge.

Shelvey has denied wrongdoing and requested a personal hearing, delaying a potential ban until after this weekend’s match.

The 24-year-old has been accused of insulting an opposition player - believed to be Moroccan Romain Saiss - during a game between Newcastle and Wolverhampton Wanderers in September.

The FA has classed the alleged offence as an ‘aggravated breach’ due to references made about race, ethnicity or nationality. Shelvey, who has chipped in with three goals and five assists this season, face a minimum five-game suspension if found guilty.

A immediate ban would have forced the influential midfielder to miss Sunday’s sell-out game at Elland Road but he is likely to be in the side named by Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Newcastle are bidding to maintain their lead at the top of the Championship table while Leeds will look to consolidate their own position after climbing into the play-off zone earlier this month.