Date: Sunday 26th August 2018
Venue: St James’ Park
Kick-off: 16:00 BST
Today’s game sees us make the trip to St James’ Park to take on Barcelona Newcastle.
Their start to the season could have been better and they come into this game off the back of a draw to Cardiff after Kenedy missed a 96th minute penalty. Still, I’m sure if they play out of their skins this afternoon it wouldn’t surprise any of us.
We’ve had a better start with 2 wins out of 2 although we’ve lived dangerously at times and could do without the same abandonment of concentration today.
Going into today’s game, Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez says “Chelsea are a top side with a very good manager. I know Sarri well from Italy. They are playing well and are dangerous. But we are confident our fans will be behind us and support us. We have to get our approach right – to try and win, but make sure we play in the right way. He’s quite clever and he said he’ll need time, which is true. But he knew his team had quality & so I was expecting a good start. I think they will do well, but hopefully not this weekend!”
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri meanwhile, says “Have we worked on defence this week? Every week. I am not worried about the defence. When I arrive in a new team usually I have problems with the defensive base for two months, so it’s not a problem. I am not able to play with five defenders. We are trying to defend by looking only at the ball and if I defend with five defenders I lose metres on the pitch. I’m not able. I tried it five years ago, but it’s not my way.” Whilst on Eden Hazard, Sarri says “I think that Eden is ready for 50 or 60 minutes, I don’t know about 90 minutes, but he can start. I am happy with him if he wants to play.”
For Newcastle, Kenedy is ineligible to play against us although Christian Atsu and Jacob Murphy are both options. DeAndre Yedlin (knee) has recovered to return.
For Chelsea, it looks like Eden Hazard could start although may not get the full 90 minutes. Cesc Fabregas remains out.
NEWCASTLE (Possible line-up): Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Murphy; Perez; Rondon
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Hazard, Morata
Newcastle 3-0 Chelsea (13 May 2018)
CURRENT FORM (PL)
- Newcastle are unbeaten in five Premier League home matches against Chelsea.
- Newcastle won this fixture 3-0 on the final day of last season.
- Chelsea have lost 11 Premier League fixtures at Newcastle.
- Defeat would see Newcastle lose both of their season-opening Premier League home matches for just the second time.
- Newcastle have won just once in seven Premier League outings.
- Chelsea have won four of their last five Premier League away matches (only loss coming at Newcastle in May).
- Chelsea could extend their own Premier League record of having won their first three matches of a season on eight occasions.
BBC Sport: Newcastle 1-1 Chelsea
Sky Sports: Newcastle 1-2 Chelsea