Aleksandar Mitrovic has been left OUT of Newcastle United's squad for this afternoon's game at Ewood Park.
Benitez's side take on Blackburn Rovers in a Championship fixture (3pm kick-off).
United's manager has left striker Mitrovic – who is not injured – behind on Tyneside and instead brought Daryl Murphy with him to Lancashire.
Murphy is on the bench for the Championship leaders, having impressed Benitez is training in recent weeks.
Mitrovic could return to the squad for Saturday's FA Cup game against Birmingham City at St Andrew's.
Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran and Mohamed Diame have been recalled to Benitez's starting XI for the Blackburn game.
Ayoze Perez, DeAndre Yedlin and Christian Atsu drop down to the bench.
Newcastle are a point ahead of second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion in the league table.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Hayden, Colback; Ritchie, Diame, Gouffran; Gayle. Subs: Sels, Yedlin, Lazaar, Mbemba, Atsu, Perez, Murphy.
BLACKBURN ROVERS: Steele; Nyambe, Greer, Mulgrew, Williams; Conway, Akpan, Lowe, Feeney; Emnes, Graham. Subs: Raya, Stokes, Gallagher, Mahoney, Evans, Brown, Bennett.
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