Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. Chelsea
Venue: St James’ Park – Saturday, September 26 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)
Match Odds: Newcastle 4/1 – Draw 14/5 – Chelsea 8/13
Newcastle have had a poor start to the season, with new manager Steven McClaren struggling to impose his style of play on the Toon.
The Magpies are yet to win a Premier League game and find themselves sitting 19th and are only not propping up the table due to goal difference. Their season needs to pick up, and fast, if they’re to avoid another slog to stay clear of the relegation battle. Newcastle fans will be left disappointed once again after the investment made over the summer.
They come into the game off the back of last weekend’s 2-1 away loss against Watford and, to make things even worse than they could be, they were knocked out of the League Cup in midweek by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea’s struggles seem to be improving after their awful start to the defence of their Premier League crown. Mourinho’s men saw off nine-man Arsenal in last weekends controversial tie.
The Blues sit 15th in the league at the moment and need to go on a lengthy unbeaten, but more importantly winning, run if they are to make up the ground on Manchester City.
A win in this one would be a good result for Chelsea considering their recent form at St. James’ Park and Mourinho will be drilling his players that anything but three points is unacceptable.
Chelsea can send out a signal of intent if they are to find a big win this weekend, but they cannot afford to be complacent as it is a fixture which throws out unlikely results.Embed from Getty Images
Newcastle have 12 injuries, the highest total in the Premier League. But Steve McClaren could see a number of his players available for selection again for this game. Sylvain Marveaux, Daryl Janmatt, Rolando Aarons, Jack Colback and Cheick Tiote could be in contention to feature. Papiss Cisse, Steven Taylor, Emmanuel Riviera, Paul Dummett and Massaido Haidara are all expect to miss out.
Chelsea are expected to be without just the three players, as Kenedy, Willian and Thibaut Courtios are unavailable. Diego Costa is banned following his actions last weekend against Arsenal so former Newcastle forward Loic Remy could start up top for the champions.
Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/L/L/L
Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: L/WL/L/W
Key Stat: Newcastle have won the last three meetings between the sides at St. James’ Park and have only lost one of the last five in this fixture at home.
Key Player: Eden Hazard – The Chelsea superstar needs to kick on from netting his first goal of the season last weekend against Arsenal and show why he is so highly regarded. He didn’t feature in Chelsea’s midweek win so he should be fresh.Embed from Getty Images
Newcastle United 2-1 Chelsea – A prediction which may surprise many but given Chelsea’s form against Newcastle away from home it would not be unheard of. Newcastle often manage to kick-start their season with a positive result in this fixture, anything is possible.