CHELSEA v Newcastle: Preview

Date: Saturday 12th January 2019

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 17:30 GMT

 

 

 

Today’s late game sees us take on Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.

For some of us, there’s no love lost between us and the Newcastle boss (our former interim manager), although it’s hardly been a love-in with Maurizio Sarri to date either and the current situation around transfers is doing little to help that situation. Ok, so he might have little say over what happens to Hudson-Odoi but the elephant in the dressing room, is his insistence on sticking with players who probably should be sold and minimising opportunities for those who shouldn’t.

The results have told their own story this season and despite a decent start with a brief unbeaten run, Sarri-ball seems to have been a flash in the pan, so we’ve come to expect average. apathetic performances and we’re not disappointed. Although maybe that’s a bit harsh given we were the better side against Spurs midweek and it was only inept officiating that saw us lose the first leg of the Carabao semi-final to Spurs but hand on heart, we know we’re a way off the pack.

As for today’s visitors, they’d obviously swap places with us after a run of one win in six has left them too close to the drop zone for comfort but being depleted by injuries for the visit, I suspect the game plan will be to shackle Eden Hazard and smother any of our other players who break with tradition and look remotely like attacking.

Our last game ended in an emotional goodbye to Cesc Fabregas, I just hope no-one’s weeping into their beer after this one.  

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri says “We need to score of course. We need to solve this problem because also in the last match we played I think very well with continuity and a very good offensive and defensive phase, with a great performance from the physical point of view the best of the season. But we didn’t score so now we have this problem. We only have to work and try and solve it as soon as possible, I think.”

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez meanwhile, says “Last January, we were in a difficult position, but we started winning and we finished 10th. It’s a big city and it’s a massive club. Some people say you have to do this and do that, but the reality is that when we work together and we are united, we are stronger. We saw that in the Championship and we saw that last season.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains out with a back injury, we have no Cesc Fabregas following his move to Monaco and Alvaro Morata (hamstring) is an injury doubt

For Newcastle, Kenedy is ineligible, Jonjo Shelvey, Paul Dummett and Karl Darlow are all injured but Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark are fit.

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Hazard, Hudson-Odoi

NEWCASTLE (Possible line-up): Dubravka; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie; Diame, Hayden; Atsu, Perez; Rondon.

 

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle (2nd December 2017)

 

CURRENT FORM (PL)

CHELSEA: WWLWWD

NEWCASTLE: LWDLDL

 

OTHER STUFF

  • Chelsea have won the last six times they have hosted Newcastle in all competitions.
  • Chelsea have lost only one of their 23 home Premier League games against Newcastle (2012)
  • Chelsea won in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
  • Chelsea have won four of their last six league matches
  • Chelsea have taken just one point from their last two home league games and failed to score in either of those.
  • Chelsea have scored just 11 goals in their past 10 Premier League fixtures.
  • Newcastle’s only win in their past eight Premier League games came against Huddersfield.
  • Newcastle are without a win in 12 away league games against the top-six sides.
  • Newcastle have scored just four goals in their last eight Premier League games.

 

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle

Sky Sports: Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle

Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle

 


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