In last week’s 1-0 win against Derby County, Benitez went with Grant Hanley due to a slight hamstring injury to captain Jamaal Lascelles. Lascelles is now fully healthy but his form has been underwhelming of late.
Hanley was solid in his performance against Wolverhampton and was praised by his manager as a ‘great professional’. Newcastle lead the Championship table but is only one point up on Brighton so it is crucial they get a win to maintain the pace.
Benitez’s side lost an earlier match this season against Wolves 2-0 and Hanley’s experiences in Championship play could give the 25-year-old the edge in breaking into the starting XI.
Lascelles’ talent is undeniable and being taken out of the starting line up might have been the wake up call the captain needed to regain his focus he seems to have been lacking the last few weeks.
Does Benitez go back to his shaky captain or stick with the solid Scotsman…