Newcastle host Chelsea at St James Park today and the Magpies will be desperate to pick up their first win of the season after losing to Spurs and drawing to Cardiff in their first two games. Winning against Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea is always going to be difficult, but it’s made even tougher when your two best players, Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles have been dropped.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 26, 2018
Beating Chelsea is difficult at the best of times and it will be made even tougher without Shelvey and Lascelles. The ex-Liverpool man is usually the club’s best midfield option and can be relied upon to create chances, dictate the tempo and chip in defensively. Now that he’s supposedly sorted out his disciplinary issues off the pitch too it looks like he’s turning into a serious player on Tyneside.
Whilst not having Shelvey is a huge loss, the one that most fans are more shocked with is Jamaal Lascelles. The 24-year-old is a model professional and always leads by example. The club captain dragged them through some games last season and without him in the side you wonder who’s going to be the man at the back who holds things together. Rafa Benitez has been brave in his selection beforehand and if this pays off then the fans will be forced to take back their comments.
You can read the Magpies’ verdict on Benitez lineup here:
No Shelvey or lascelles… Big tasks for Schär, Fernández and Ki today
— Cieran (@TUSEagle) August 26, 2018
— Neil Walker (@skii2012) August 26, 2018
I need to know what happened to lascelles and Shelvey
— Arnold (@fabregasholic) August 26, 2018
6 changes; 5 at the back (so Chelsea will think we are scared & gonna play defensively) & no Lascelles? #InRafawetrust but still curious about this team sheet!
— Lisa Pickard (@LisaPickard18) August 26, 2018
No Lascelles or Shelvey pic.twitter.com/tDn7dvcrTl
— 9 (@Venxzuelan) August 26, 2018
Benitez is brave! hopefully the new lads do well
— Danny Milne (@DannyMilne4) August 26, 2018
No jonjo or lacs. Oh dear. pic.twitter.com/Cuu8DnDFkp
— Ash Stephenson (@ashtoon92) August 26, 2018
The Geordies are all shocked by their choice to drop Shelvey and Lascelles and will be hoping the decision can pay off.