RAFAEL BENITEZ has called on the Football Association to investigate Wilfried Zaha’s comments ahead of Newcastle United’s weekend game with Crystal Palace.

Newcastle travel to Selhurst Park tomorrow looking to claim their first win of the season, and have to deal with an in-form Zaha if they are to prevent Palace from extending their winless run.

In the wake of Palace’s win over Huddersfield last weekend, Zaha conducted an interview in which he challenged referees to offer him more protection. The winger said: “I feel like before anyone gets a red, I’d have to get my leg broken or something. Why am I getting different treatment from other players?”

Zaha’s comments could be interpreted as an attempt to put pressure on referees, something managers are banned from doing.

Benitez is confident Andre Marriner will not be swayed by Zaha’s words when he presides over tomorrow’s game, but the Newcastle boss feels the FA should act.

Benitez said: “I am surprised because normally the FA deal with these comments. I have a lot of confidence with Andre Marriner. He has a lot of experience, even if his record with our players is not that great in terms of red cards. He is an experienced referee.

“He (Zaha) is a good player, no doubt about that, but I think the FA have to deal with his comments. But I don’t think Andre Marriner will have this in the back of his head.”

While much of the pre-match build-up ahead of tomorrow’s game has focused on Zaha, Benitez claims Newcastle cannot devote all of their attention to the Ivory Coast international.

He said: “Don’t forget that we had (Andros) Townsend here and he was a good player too, they played good money for (Christian) Benteke in the past and have (Jordan) Ayew too as a striker. They have some good players in attack, you cannot just worry about one.”

Newcastle will travel to South London with a clean bill of health, with long-term absentee Florian Lejeune their only injury victim.

Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey have both been passed fit after taking part in a full training session earlier today.

Benitez said: “He (Shelvey) was training (ahead of the Arsenal game), but we knew he was injured. It was a question of whether to play him because he’s so positive and he wants to play every game, but we had to be careful.

“He could have got injured and that would have been worse for us. Now, he has been training and is ready.

“Jamaal was complaining about his ankle. He missed a couple of sessions, but has been training for the last ten days and is okay.”