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Newcastle v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 18th January 2020

Venue: St James Park

Kick-off: 17:30 GMT

After finally getting a relatively straightforward win at home last time out against Burnley, today’s late game sees us back on our travels, as we face Newcastle.

Steve Bruce has had to deal with a string of injuries, (the number changes from day to day, depending on which source you get it from), but they’re still in a slightly better position than they were this time last year, so it’s not all bad.

Similar to us I suppose, we had to manage with our own share of injury woes from the start of the season, on top of a transfer ban, and we must be doing so well the club have decided they don’t need a transfer window after all. Ok, I’m kidding, whilst the football is definitely easier to watch, we’re slightly worse off than this time last season – but there’s still clearly no panic buying despite our ups and downs this campaign.

We seem to be favourites for this one, which seems reasonable enough from Newcastle’s form but I agree with Frank, we’d be mad to write them off. They’ll be looking to Joelinton to upset us but I’d be more inclined to think if Andy Carroll makes even part of this game, the fact he’s gone 28 Premier League appearances without a goal would almost guarantee he’d get on the score sheet today.

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says “We’ve been down to the bare bones. We’ve had something like 12, 13 players injured all at once, out of a squad of 23 with three goalkeepers. That tells you that you’re in a little bit of trouble.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard meanwhile, says “Every game in the Premier League remains vital and this is the same as all the others. Even though we have good away form in general, every game brings new challenges. Going to Newcastle, I know it as a player and I know it now. The emotion of the crowd, they are a very organised team with the manager that they have. Also the threats they have, they have got some good results this season. We will be taking nothing lightly or expecting anything because of our away record. We have to take this game head on, as we have to do in these games coming up now because it is massively important we keep or focus game in game out. We certainly don’t underestimate Newcastle.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Newcastle, Paul Dummett and Dwight Gayle are nursing hamstring injuries and Andy Carroll is a doubt, but Jonjo Shelvey and Fabian Schar are back in training and Allan Saint-Maximin returns.

For Chelsea, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles), van Ginkel (ACL), Christian Pulisic (adductor) are out and N’Golo Kante (hamstring) continues to be assessed. Marcos Alonso could be in contention.

TEAMS

NEWCASTLE (Possible line-up): Dubravka; Hayden, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lejeune, Willems; Ritchie, Shelvey, S.Longstaff, Almiron; Joelinton

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; James, Rudiger, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Barkley, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi

LAST SEASON

Newcastle 1-2 Chelsea (26th August 2018)

CURRENT FORM (PL)

NEWCASTLE: LWLLLD

CHELSEA: LWLWDW

OTHER STUFF

  • Newcastle have taken just four points from their last eight Premier League games against Chelsea, losing the last three.
  • Chelsea’s 25 victories in this Premier League fixture is bettered only by 29 wins against Tottenham.
  • Newcastle have won just once in six league matches.
  • Newcastle could lose three successive Premier League games at St James’ Park for the first time since October 2018.
  • Newcastle’s average ball possession of 34% is the lowest in the Premier League.
  • Chelsea have taken 22 points away from home in the Premier League, compared to 17 points at Stamford Bridge.
  • Twenty five of Chelsea’s 39 league goals have come on the road.
  • Chelsea have kept just one away clean sheet, conceding 19 goals in their 11 games.

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Newcastle 1-2 Chelsea

Sky Sports: Newcastle 1-3 Chelsea

Sportsmole: Newcastle 2-2 Chelsea

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