PREVIEW: CHELSEA VS NEWCASTLE

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Following a 1-0 win against Swansea, another home league game awaits Chelsea as Newcastle and former manager Rafael Benitez visit Stamford Bridge in the early kick-off on Saturday.

With Manchester City looking unstoppable right now, it is crucial Chelsea put pressure on Manchester United in second place, and a win against Newcastle would do just that.

The Magpies have been struggling lately, losing four and drawing one out of their last five games. With owner Mike Ashley looking to sell the club, Newcastle fans will be hoping they can finally move on from constant turmoil at the club and put themselves back amongst England’s best.

Chelsea missed Eden Hazard a lot when he was rested in midweek, and with the Belgium likely to return to the starting XI, he will give a poor Newcastle defence plenty to worry about.

Alvaro Morata was really unlucky not to score against Swansea, but you would expect him to get a handful of chances again on Saturday.

Newcastle have only ever won a single game at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era – back in 2012 under Alan Pardew – and on current form, it seems unlikely they will get anything from the game.

There isn’t a lot you can criticise Chelsea for at the moment, but one thing that has been a small worry is a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal. The Blues have to make sure they kill the game if they get the opportunity – or else they will pay for it eventually.

Key Stats

    • Chelsea have only lost one of their last 22 top-flight home games against Newcastle (W15, D6).
    • Newcastle’s only away victory against Chelsea in the Premier League came in May 2012, with the Magpies winning 2-0 thanks to a brace by Papiss Cisse.
    • Chelsea have kept four clean sheets in their last five top-flight games, conceding just once – at Liverpool.
    • Newcastle have won just one of their last 18 Premier League away games (D4, L13).
    • Chelsea have dropped eight points at home in the league this season, two more than in their title-winning 2016-17 campaign.
    • If Newcastle lose on Saturday, it will be their 70th Premier League defeat in London – which would be a joint-high with Everton.
    • Chelsea have scored a league-high eight headed goals in the Premier League this term.
    • Rafael Benitez has only won one of 12 competitive games as an opposition manager at Stamford Bridge, all with Liverpool (D4, L7).
    • Newcastle are one of four clubs Willian has scored home and away against in the Premier League (along with Everton, Southampton and Stoke).

(via BBC Sport)

 

Predicted Line-up (3-4-3)

Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Drinkwater, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Hazard

 

Prediction

Similar to Swansea in midweek, Newcastle will know that there are more winnable and more crucial fixtures coming up. With Hazard back in the side, Chelsea will have too much for the Magpies. 2-0

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