Chelsea will be looking to strengthen their hold on the fourth spot in the Premier League table when they take on Newcastle United this weekend.
Chelsea will be hoping to pick up their third win in a trot in all competitions when they travel to the St. James’ Park to face Newcastle United on Saturday in Matchday 23 of the 2019-20 Premier League.
Having begun the year with a 1-1 draw against Brighton, Chelsea have recovered well, beating Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, which was followed by a convincing 3-0 win against Burnley in the league. Frank Lampard’s men are currently five points above fifth-placed Manchester United and will be keen on solidifying their position with a win on Saturday evening.
Newcastle United are on a three-match unbeaten streak (W1 D2) in all competitions, with their most recent fixture ending in a resounding 4-1 win over Rochdale in the FA Cup. Steve Bruce has guided the Magpies to the 13th place in the Premier League table, five points above the drop zone. Newcastle have generally done well at home this term and will be hoping for an upset win against Chelsea.
The reverse fixture back in October ended in a narrow 1-0 win for Chelsea courtesy a Marcos Alonso goal. And ahead of the latest meeting between them and Newcastle at St. James’ Park, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Newcastle have a long injury list heading into the game against Chelsea. The Tynesiders will be without Jack Colback (knee), Paul Dummett, Javi Manquillo, Dwight Gayle, Fabian Schar (all thigh), while the likes of Yoshinori Muto (groin), DeAndre Yedlin (knee) and Ki Sung-Yeung (unspecified) all are major doubts for the game.
Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey returned to action in the FA Cup win against Rochdale, which will come as a big boost for Newcastle, while Allan Saint-Maximin could also be back for the weekend clash although Bruce might not thrust the summer signing into the starting XI right away.
Having played in a 4-3-3 formation for the cup game, the Magpies are expected to revert to the 5-4-1 setup when Chelsea come visiting, with Martin Dubravka returning in goal after having been left out for the midweek clash.
Isaac Hayden started at right-back in Newcastle’s last league outing and is likely to reprise the role again with Jetro Willems lining up on the left side. The fit-again Lascelles ought to start in the three-man central defensive partnership along with Federico Fernandez and Florian Lejeune against Chelsea.
Miguel Almiron has been in great form in recent weeks and is a guaranteed starter on the left flank, while Matt Ritchie could get the nod on the opposite wing with Saint-Maximin’s involved not 100% confirmed. Shelvey made a substitute appearance against Rochdale and is unlikely to start here either with the Longstaff brothers – Sean and Matty, expected to feature again.
Joelinton scored a long overdue goal in the cup tie against Rochdale and will be hoping to carry the confidence when Chelsea come visiting this weekend.
Probable Lineup (5-4-1): Dubravka; Hayden, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lejeune, Willems; Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Matty Longstaff, Almiron; Joelinton
Chelsea will once again be without the services of long-term absentees Marco van Ginkel (knee) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (calf), while USMNT star Christian Pulisic (groin) is also out injured. N’Golo Kante and Marcos Alonso (both thigh) are also big doubts for Frank Lampard’s side heading into the weekend clash at St. James’ Park.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is an absolute certainty in goal for Chelsea, while youngster Reece James, who recently signed a new contract with the club, should continue to feature at right-back. Captain Cesar Azpilicueta will line up on the left-side once again with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger likely to continue their partnership at the heart of the Blues’ defence.
Jorginho was on the scoresheet in the win against Burnley and will look to continue to influencing games from the deep midfield area. Ross Barkley made a successful return to the starting XI against Burnley, but could make way for Mateo Kovacic on Saturday, while Mason Mount is expected to fill up the third midfield slot for Chelsea.
Callum Hudson-Odoi scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea against Burnley and will look to carry that confidence to the Newcastle game. The Englishman should be retained on the right flank, while senior pro Willian continues on the left of the front three.
In-form striker Tammy Abraham should once again get the nod as the lone centre-forward ahead of Michy Batshuayi and the exit-bound Olivier Giroud.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kepa; James, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Mount, Jorginho, Kovacic; Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Willian
- Chelsea Clean Sheet – NO @ 2.25
- Over 9.5 Corners @ 1.72
- Newcastle to win @ 6.00
- Chelsea are looking to record consecutive away Premier League wins against Newcastle United for the first time since winning 2-0 in both 2007-08 and 2008-09.
- Newcastle have taken just four points from their last eight Premier League games against Chelsea (W1 D1 L6), losing each of their last three meetings in a row.
- Despite having the joint-second highest points tally away from home in the Premier League this season (22), Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet on the road this term, conceding 19 goals in their 11 games.
- Newcastle have lost their last two Premier League home games, conceding as many goals in those defeats as they had in their previous seven combined at St James’ Park (5).
- Four different English players have scored a combined 20 Premier League goals for Chelsea this season, the most on both counts in a season for the Blues since 2012-13 (5 players scoring 23 goals).
Player to Watch
The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the most talented youngsters in the country. While he has shown glimpses of the bags of potential he possesses, Callum Hudson-Odoi hasn’t quite been able to translate that into an array of consistent performances for the Chelsea first-team, which has meant he hasn’t started as many games as he would have liked.
So far this term, Hudson-Odoi has featured 21 times for Chelsea in all competitions, but only eight of them have been starts. However, he could be set for a starting role in the coming weeks due to Christian Pulisic’s injury. Having scored his first PL goal against Burnley, the Englishman will be hoping to build on that and carve out a regular berth for himself in the starting XI.
Newcastle United 1-2 Chelsea
Newcastle United haven’t been defeated in their last three matches in all competitions, but the Magpies have lost their previous two Premier League outings at St. James’ Park. Chelsea have been doing quite well away from home and have been on the winning side in six of their last seven meetings against the Magpies in all competitions.
The Blues have had some problems defensively and Miguel Almiron, in his current form, could cause some damage. However, given the quality that Frank Lampard’s side boast, they should be in for a rather straightforward victory on Saturday, pulling further away from fifth-placed Manchester City in the Premier League table.