Lascelles dropped after Benitez bust-up
Captain Lascelles was expected to start at the centre of defence, but when the team was named neither he nor Jonjo Shelvey had made the matchday squad.
The club and local press reported that both players had picked up injuries mid-week, but according to the 'Mail' there could be more going on behind the scenes.
Rafa had made some tactical changes for the clash, opting to move to a five-at-the-back system to counter the 'Blues' attacking threat. Lascelles was to be tasked with marshalling the right side of the back three, but the defender himself wanted to be in the middle.
Having confronted Benitez about it, Lascelles was subsequently dropped from the team altogether, and Fabian Schär. Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark were given the starting berths.
As for Shelvey, the decision to leave him out appears to be little more than rotation, with the injury story probably true.