Newcastle United are still looking for their first win of the season, and it doesn’t get easier for them this week as they host Chelsea at St James’ Park on Sunday.
The Magpies have one point from their opening two games and they sit in the 12th spot. Despite the underwhelming start to their season, Newcastle have proved to be difficult to beat. They gave a good account of themselves as they lost 1-2 at home to Tottenham on the opening day. Last week, they managed to get a point at Cardiff City despite playing the majority of the second half with ten men. They could have even grabbed all three points at Cardiff if Kenedy had converted his 96th-minute penalty.
Nevertheless, if Rafa Benitez’s men keep up the same level of fight we can see them troubling Chelsea on Sunday.
Chelsea come into this game on the back of a thrilling 3-2 home win at Arsenal. The Blues are under a new manager in Maurizio Sarri, and there is a certain amount of uncertainty about them. It remains to be seen whether they will be competing for the league title or the top-four this season. The Blues have looked effortless going forward and have scored six goals in their first two games. However, there were multiple signs of concern in their game against Arsenal. They were carved open easily on too many occasions by the Gunners. It could have been a totally different result if the Gunners hadn’t missed some sitters.
Sarri would need to shore up his defence for the trip to Newcastle because this game is a potential banana peel for his side.
Newcastle have quite an impressive home record against their opponents. The Magpies are undefeated in their last five league meetings with Chelsea at St James’ Park. The hosts have picked up four wins and one draw in this incredible run. Last season, the Magpies registered a rather surprising 3-0 win in the corresponding fixture.
Newcastle United Team News
Florian Lejeune is a long-term absence for Newcastle. DeAndre Yedlin is also expected to miss out due to an injury he picked up against Spurs. Isaac Hayden was shown a straight red against Cardiff, and he is suspended. Newcastle failed to find the net against Cardiff, so we might see either Salomon Rondon or Yoshinori Muto in the starting eleven. Javier Manquillo endured a torrid first half against Cardiff, and we don’t expect to see him in the eleven.
Chelsea Team News
Cesc Fabregas missed out the Arsenal game with an injury, and he remains a doubt. Mateo Kovacic made a substitute appearance against the Gunners, and he could replace Ross Barkley in the starting eleven. Eden Hazard should also make his first start of the season.
Chelsea are clear favourites to win the game, but it is quite a tricky game to call. Especially when you consider Chelsea’s rotten run of form at this ground. However, one can expect a decent number of goals in the game as last four meetings between these two sides have ended with 2.5+ goals.
‘Over 2.5 goals’ at 9/10 odds on Bet365 looks like a safe bet and we are backing the same as our betting tip for this game.