Jamaal Lascelles was desperately unlucky not to get a call-up for the World Cup in the summer.
However, like Jonjo Shelvey, the England hopeful has fallen way short of last season’s standards this term.
The Newcastle captain has appeared to struggle at times. And, with Florian Lejeune, Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar and even Ciaran Clark staking a claim to be picked ahead of him, the 25-year-old could lose his place against the champions.
Lascelles lacks mobility
Manchester City, with the likes of Sergio Aguero, have the potential to run rings around the Magpies. Unfortunately, Lascelles has looked a lot less mobile this season and this could be a huge downfall against such a pacy City front line.
While stats have the former Nottingham Forest man out in front making the most clearances for the Toon this season (130), there have been several occasions where he has been the cause of the onslaught. Wolves at home was a prime example.
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Rafael Benitez has shown in the past that he’s not afraid to drop his skipper. On current performances, Lascelles couldn’t argue if he isn’t number one pick – either in a back two or three.
The Newcastle number six is a big aerial presence. However, against a slick City side, his juggernaut approach could see him beaten time and time again. For that reason, this could be one game that the captain sits out.