Chelsea travel to Newcastle this weekend looking to continue their push towards a top-four finish. Their hosts will have their resources stretched following an injury-hit spell, though the Geordie faithful will once again roar their side on as they bid to improve a run of form that has seen them suffer back-to-back home defeats.
Here is all you need to know about their meeting at St James’ Park this weekend…
Steve Bruce looks to have finally won over some sections of the Toon Army, the previously unpopular manager having heard his name chanted during the club’s FA Cup third round replay win over Rochdale this week.
Despite being tipped to be amongst the favourites to go down, Newcastle have enjoyed a solid if unspectacular first half of the campaign, currently sitting 13th after overcoming a slow start that had the club in the relegation places in late October.
Miguel Almiron, having taken almost a year to open his account, has now scored three in his last three fixtures, the Paraguayan’s contribution important with the club currently beset by a host of injury problems.
Newcastle drew with Wolves last time out despite missing as many as ten players, before also seeing both Dwight Gayle and Paul Dummett limp off in the first half. Resources will be stretched once again this weekend, as the club seek to halt a run of just one win in their past six league fixtures.
Frank Lampard’s inexperienced side continue to deliver inconsistent results, though the Blues have done enough to establish a five-point cushion over nearest challengers Manchester United in the race to secure a top four finish.
Impressive wins at the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham have been mixed with a disappointing defeat to Southampton and draw with Brighton, Chelsea yet to truly find their rhythm when pressed to break down stubborn, defensive opposition.
Christian Pulisic’s injury has given Callum Hudson-Odoi a chance to impress, and the teenager responded by netting his first Premier League goal in the win over Burnley last time out. Likewise, fellow academy graduate Reece James has thrived in recent weeks, the young full-back now likely to command a an automatic starting position at right-back – his crossing ability having been likened to that of David Beckham this week.
Tammy Abraham continues to score regularly but Chelsea must ease the goalscoring burden on the youngster if they are to push on, the 22-year-old’s 13 league goals more than double that of the club’s next top scorer, Mason Mount and Pulisic each with five.
Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle, 19th October 2019
The two sides met in the middle of Chelsea’s best run of form of the season so far, the Blues winning six consecutive Premier League fixtures stretching from September to November.
Newcastle’s visit to Stamford Bridge was the third fixture of that run, but despite the clubs impressive showings it proved a difficult afternoon for Lampard’s side.
The host’s relentless second half pressure would eventually lead to a breakthrough, however, Marcos Alonso scoring the only goal of the game to seal three valuable points.
Predicted Line ups
Newcastle: Dubravka; Hayden, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Willems; S.Longstaff, Shelvey, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton
Chelsea: Kepa; James, Zouma, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount; Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Abraham
Who is the referee?
How can I watch Newcastle v Chelsea?
UK and Irish readers can watch the game on Sky Sports Main Event, whilst those in the USA can view on fuboTV.
What time is kick off?
Newcastle – 19/4
Draw – 7/2
Chelsea – 1/2