Newcastle captain reportedly dropped for refusing to accept new role
Rafa Benitez is a details man.
Benitez has done some tinkering ahead of Newcastle's clash with Chelsea on Sunday afternoon and has tweaked his defence ahead of the visit of Maurizio Sarri's side.
The Magpies boss seemingly opted for three at the back this weekend and according to a report in the Daily Mail, that switch has not gone down well with the club captain, Jamaal Lascelles.
Understand NUFC skipper Jamaal Lascelles dropped by Rafa Benitez after training-ground fallout over manager's decision to play three at back for today's visit of Chelsea. More @MailSport
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) August 26, 2018
Lascelles reportedly demanded to be placed in the middle of the back three for the game but was utilised on the right in training on Thursday.
After a bust-up with Benitez over his tactics at the training ground, a decision was made to drop Lascelles from the matchday squad.
Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark start at St. James' Park as Benitez aims to deliver the first stumbling block for his former club this season.
The Newcastle manager remained coy on his selection ahead of the game.
"To be fair, we've had some problems with injuries, suspensions and also Kenedy, because he's on loan so he can't play. We had to balance what we have and hopefully we'll be fine," Benitez told Sky Sports.
"Jonjo (Shelvey) has been playing with pain in the last two games and he was trying to be here but we had to tell him that he cannot carry on with pain because it's a risk that would be more dangerous.
"With Jamaal, he came with an ankle problem and we decided we had enough centre-backs and that's it."