Newcastle take on Chelsea this weekend in the final round of fixtures before the World Cup break.
The Magpies are flying high and on a fine run of form under Eddie Howe, whose side could make a statement with a win at St James’ Park. Chelsea have wobbled of late and will be looking for a positive result against a team who has emerged as a potential top four rival.
Here is all you need to know about Saturday’s clash.
Newcastle are the form team in the Premier League right now and climbed to third in the division with an impressive 4-1 win at Southampton last time out.
Eddie Howe’s team boast the best defensive record in the division and have balanced that with forward threat, having scored 4+ goals in four of their past seven league games. Miguel Almiron has hit a run of career-best form, with seven goals in his past seven appearances.
What a year it has been. 😍 pic.twitter.com/BkCtqle0oZ
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 8, 2022
The Paraguayan has now scored more league goals this season (8) than he managed in the past three-and-a-half campaigns combined, while only Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Aleksandar Mitrovic having netted more in the Premier League this season.
Confidence is increasing at St James’ Park and Newcastle remained in the Carabao Cup with a shootout win over Crystal Palace in midweek. A return to Europe is well within reach if the club can continue their recent form, though Howe will hope the World Cup break does not halt momentum.
Graham Potter is facing the first spell of pressure of his Chelsea reign, with back-to-back defeats having continued the club’s indifferent form.
Chelsea have won just two of their past seven in all competitions and crashed out of the Carabao Cup following a 2-0 defeat at Manchester City this week. The Blues are seventh in the Premier League, five points off the pace in the race for Champions League football ahead of a testing trip to the North East this weekend.
Graham's thoughts on #CheArs.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 6, 2022
Potter conceded that his team were second best during a home defeat to Arsenal last weekend, as the west Londoners struggled to create opportunities in a poor performance on home soil. The 47-year-old has prided himself on tactical flexibility in the past, but his changing of Chelsea’s shape and personnel to date has led to inconsistent performance.
The absences of Ben Chilwell and Reece James – each of who have been ruled out of England’s World Cup squad – have not aided his cause to find balance.
Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle, March 13th 2022
Kai Havertz scored a sensational late goal as Chelsea snatched a late win over Newcastle in March. The visitors had looked set to earn a point after frustrating Chelsea for long periods at Stamford Bridge, until a moment of magic from Havertz decided the game.
The Germany international brought down a long ball from Jorginho in sublime fashion before finishing confidently, with his 88th minute winner the difference between the sides.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 13, 2022
The game was the first played since Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government, with Chelsea earning a vital win despite the uncertainty surrounding the club’s future.
Newcastle: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Willock, Guimaraes; Almiron, Joelinton, Wilson.
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Koulibaly, Cucurella; Jorginho, Kovacic, Gallagher; Mount, Havertz, Sterling.
Who is the referee?
What channel is Newcastle vs Chelsea on?
UK and Ireland: Sky Sports Main Event.
What time is kick off?
Saturday 12th November, 17:30pm GMT.
Newcastle – 27/20
Draw – 12/5
Chelsea – 2/1