Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Newcastle
Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, February 13 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)
Match Odds: Chelsea 4/9 – Draw 7/2 – Newcastle 6/1
The Blues have not lost a game since Guus Hiddink returned to the dugout in December, but they are still not winning enough and sit in 13th place as a result.
They did well to battle back to earn a 1-1 draw at home to United last weekend but that result means Chelsea have drawn their last four league games, without keeping a clean sheet in any of those matches.Embed from Getty Images
They’ve only won one of their last five coming into this one, but will be expected to seal three points against Newcastle side battling relegation.
The Magpies sealed a vital win against West Brom last weekend but they are still embroiled in a relegation battle and are just one point above the drop zone heading into the weekend.
Inconsistency remains a huge problem for Steve McClaren’s side as they have only recorded back-to-back league wins once this season.Embed from Getty Images
Newcastle have a huge injury list to worry about at a pivotal stage of the season but new signings such as Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and Seydou Doumbia will hope to help the team avoid the dreaded drop to the Championship.
The reverse fixture ended 2-2 at St James’ Park, with two late Chelsea goals earning them a point after Ayoze Perez and Georgino Wijnaldum had given the Magpies the lead.
Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow as Kurt Zouma will be out for around six months with a knee injury suffered in the 1-1 draw with United last Sunday. He joins Falcao and Loic Remy in the treatment room, while Alexandre Pato isn’t deemed fit enough to play yet.
Newcastle manager Steve McClaren has an astonishingly long list of unavailable players for this one, with no fewer than 15 players either injured on suspended. Daryl Janmaat, Jack Colback, Paul Dummett and Siem De Jong are all doubts, while Jamaal Lascelles is still suspended. Tim Krul, Ivan Toney, Gabriel Obertan, Massadio Haidara, Pappiss Cisse, Vurnon Anita, Kevin Mbabu, Chancel Mbemba, Curtis Good and Sylvain Marveaux are all definitely out with injuries.
Chelsea’s last five: D/D/W/D/D
Newcastle’s last five: D/W/L/L/W
Key Stat: Newcastle have not scored a goal at Stamford Bridge since May 2012 and have lost on each of their last three visits to Chelsea.
Key Player: Aleksandar Mitrovic – The Newcastle striker fired his side to victory against West Brom last week and will hope to benefit from Kurt Zouma’s absence in the Blues’ defence.Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle – Newcastle have a huge list of unavailable players and that will likely cost them dearly here as Chelsea should be able to take advantage by recording just a second win in six league games. Games between these two tend to be close and so this is likely to be decided by the odd goal.