Chelsea host Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in the English Premier League. The Blues are sleepwalking towards the finish line in one of the worst seasons in their history. The Magpies have secured a top four finish and have nothing to play for. Newcastle convincingly won the reverse fixture 1-0.
This season is a disaster for Chelsea. They’ve lost four of their last five home matches and the highest they can finish is 11th, although they could also drop as low as 13th. Frank Lampard took over a side with four wins in their previous 15 matches. His first six matches in charge all ended in defeats, with the last two home league matches seeing losses to Brighton and Brentford.
After losing 3-1 at Arsenal, the Blues finally got a 3-1 win at Bournemouth. It proved a false dawn as they threw away a 2-1 lead at home to Nottingham Forest to draw 2-2 against the league’s worst away side. Their last two fixtures have seen a 1-0 loss at Man City and a 4-1 defeat at Man Utd. Both matches saw reasonable attacking displays but some awful defending on display.
Chelsea Team News
Coach Frank Lampard remains without a whole host of injured players. Marc Cucurella, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Benoit Badiashile are missing in defence. Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante are absent in midfield. In attack, Raheem Sterling and Armando Broja are both out.
The youngest side in Chelsea history was fielded at Man Utd but some experienced legs could return. Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly are options to start in defence but Carney Chukwuemeka could earn another start in midfield. Joao Felix may be handed a starting role up front as Kai Havertz flatters to deceive.
The side have looked unfit, disinterested and unwilling to work as a team in recent months. They will want to at least avoid a loss to end the season at home.
Lampard’s side threw bodies forward at Old Trafford and were destroyed on the break. He may again play an attacking, open style.
Newcastle have had a brilliant season and deserve their top four finish. Five successive victories put an end to a poor run of one win in eight league matches at one stage. After a surprise 3-0 loss at Aston Villa, they again responded in fine fashion. They beat Tottenham 6-1 at home and won 4-1 at Everton. A 3-1 win from 1-0 down followed at home to Southampton.
After a slight blip, losing 2-0 at home to Newcastle and drawing 2-2 at Leeds (having led 2-1), there were a few worries about their top four spot. A fine 4-1 win against a weakened Brighton side followed at home to put them just a point off a return to the Champions League. On Monday, they drew 0-0 at home with an ultra defensive Leicester side, allowing the Foxes just one shot at goal. The Toon had 23 shots and 2.19 xG.
Newcastle Team News
Eddie Howe is without Nick Pope in goal after the goalkeeper went for surgery. Joelinton and Joe Willock missed the Leicester match with injury and it is unlikely that either will be risked for this one. Matt Ritchie and Jamaal Lascelles are two other players who are ruled out.
Martin Dubravka is set for a start in goal in this one. Elliott Anderson should earn another start in midfield with the injury concerns in that area. There could be some rotation in attack with Jacob Murphy and Anthony Gordon hoping for starts.
The Magpies can only finish third if Man Utd draw and they win at Stamford Bridge. The top four is secured and there is realistically nothing to play for.
They won’t sit back and will look to press and attack a fragile Blues team. There is little point in settling for a point at any stage.
Chelsea have lost 8 of their last 10 matches (all competitions)
Chelsea have failed to score in 4 of their last 6 home matches
Chelsea have won 10 of their last 11 home matches vs Newcastle
Newcastle have won 4 of their last 6 away matches
NUFC have scored 15 goals in their last 6 away EPL matches
This could be a weird match with both sides on the beach. Chelsea are in dire form and could quite easily lose again at home in this one. Both sides should score in the fixture.
Best Bet: Both Teams to Score + No Draw at 2.30
Value Bet: Newcastle Win and Over 2.5 goals at 3.40
Correct Score Tip: Chelsea 1-2 Newcastle at 8.50