Newcastle United vs Chelsea Preview | Team News, Key Men & Stats

Newcastle United vs Chelsea Preview | Team News, Key Men & Stats

Chelsea succumbed to a slight hiccup in their near perfect form this season the last time they visited the North East with their goal less draw away at Sunderland last Saturday. Chelsea are now back en route to the North East for a date with Newcastle United at St James. Chelsea’s response to their 0-0 with Sunderland was an emphatic 3-0 victory at home to London rivals Tottenham whereas the Geordies failed to return to winning ways with a 1-1 draw away to Burnley. Before last weekend the Magpies had been one of the in form teams in the league winning 5 games on the bounce. A visit from the league leaders and apparent champions in waiting isn’t the best chance to get back to winning ways. However, back in November 2013 in the corresponding fixture Newcastle showed it wasn’t an impossible task with a 2-0 win against Mourinho’s men. That being said for their return to St James’s Park Mourinho’s side are a totally different animal and Alan Pardew’s side will need to have his squad on top form to get anything out of Chelsea who have hardly been in a charitable mood to opposition this season

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Team News

The home side’s injury list is starting to clear up but they are still faced with a few problems. Ryan Taylor is still a few week away from training after his recent return to the side. First choice stopper Tim Krul is sidelined till January meaning Rob Elliot will continue his run in the side for an extended period. It may still be too early for Coloccini to return to the defence which would be a huge boost when having to face Chelsea’s unrelenting front line. But, Cheick Tiote’s return to the side against Burnley has come at the right time, as he is the type of presence the Magpies will need in midfield to try and stifle Chelsea’s attacking flow

Chelsea will continue to be without their midfield screen in Nemanja Matic. The Serbian will miss the trip through suspension, though Chelsea will have Diego Costa available again after he served his suspension against Spurs midweek.  There could be a potential start for Kurt Zouma after he came on to replace Gary Cahill who got injured during the clash with Tottenham. With Cahill set to miss the trip to the North East due to that injury Chelsea will need to make a change to their usual solid backline.

Interesting Statistics

The last time Chelsea beat Newcastle United at St James’s Park was 2 years ago this month, Chelsea won the game 3-0.

In their previous Premier League fixtures both sides have amassed 71 yellow cards

The top goal scorer in the fixture between the two sides is Frank Lampard who netted 6 times against the Magpies for Chelsea.

Papiss Cisse is tied for the most goals scored against Chelsea of the current Newcastle United squad with 2 goals. Included in this is his incredible half volley scored at Stamford Bridge during his first season at the club.

There has been two penalties awarded in the fixture during the Premier League era both awarded to Chelsea.

Key Player’s

Newcastle United: Papiss Cisse

Newcastle’s Senegalese striker has had an eye for goal when the Geordies have needed him, they’ll need that eye focused on the Chelsea net to have a hope of getting a positive result against the league leaders. After bailing Newcastle out of a defeat to Burnley on Tuesday it’s hard to see Pardew not starting Cisse against Chelsea, but as shown against Burnley Cisse’s threat can be just as potent from the bench due to his poaching ability in the box. The striker has never found the form he had when he first arrived on Tyneside but his 5 goals so far this season in 14 have helped contribute to Newcastle’s climb up the table in recent weeks. With the attacking threat offered by Chelsea it is likely they will concede against Mourinho’s men and will therefore need their attacking options to be on point. Should Cisse decide to turn up on Saturday with his shooting boots on Chelsea may have their work cut out for them as he has proven to be a problem for the London side in the past.

Chelsea: Eden Hazard

The young Belgian winger showed the influence he can hold over a fixture against Tottenham on Wednesday night. Tottenham had started the better of the two sides, even striking the bar from a Harry Kane header. The impressive start from Spur’s was in vein as Eden Hazard decided he wanted Chelsea to take the lead. A one two move with Didier Drogba and that was that 1-0 Chelsea, all of the away sides momentum out the window. A criticism of the Belgian’s game has been him not contributing in goals or assists as consistently as he could. With 5 goals and an assist so far this season it would appear the young superstar is going to contribute at the rate his potential would allow. Even without scoring the influence Hazard can exert on a game is near second to none in the Premier League, his ability, pace and directness with the ball puts defences all over the country on the back foot. As one of the world games brightest stars Chelsea can usually look to him too change a tight game and an away day in Newcastle during the month of December could be just that.

Prediction

Given Chelsea’s form and squad it’s very hard to look at one of their fixtures and not see them coming out victorious. Newcastle away is never a fixture anyone can take likely, especially Chelsea given their defeat at St James last season. But as I’ve said this Chelsea side is a whole new animal for Pardew to try and deal with. With the return of Costa to the side, Hazard on his game and Fabregas pulling the strings in midfield it’s a tall order for Newcastle to deal with even at home. Newcastle’s only hope will be a good start against Mourinho’s side where they take the lead unlike Tottenham on Wednesday. Chelsea are a team if they take the lead its extremely rare you will get a positive result against them so the only hope is for Newcastle to find the net early and break against them as Chelsea need to come out and attack like Pardew’s side did last season against them. For now a Chelsea victory is the safe bet each week and rightly so.

Chelsea 3-1 victory