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

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

Chelsea welcome Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday as they continue to push on up the league table under Frank Lampard. It will be a battle of the inexperienced and the experienced in the dugout. Steve Bruce may not be highly rated, but he has now managed over 400 Premier League matches and has already proven this season that he can get shock results. The Magpies have been underwhelming, but they have managed to beat Tottenham and Manchester United. This underlines the danger they can pose to the home side.

Since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea, they have shown an impressive ability to get short-term success, even if regular changes are made in the dugout. However, the transfer ban may have transformed that approach, as they hired Frank Lampard with the task of bringing through the talented young players from the academy into the first-team. The early indications have been impressive. Although there have been some poor results, the performances of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi have provided reason for optimism. The underlying performance indicators such as expected goals (xG) and shot data suggest that the Blues have a great chance of a top-four finish. If they achieve that, it would mark an excellent season for the club.
Newcastle United have had a strange start to the season. In terms of points, they appear to be on par with the pre-season expectations of them. However, their two wins have came against Tottenham and Manchester United, while the displays against the lesser teams in the league have been poor. They need to show more consistency and the decision to change back to a five-man defence in the previous fixture looks to be a smart one. Against Chelsea, they will set up deep and restrict space, with the impetus being on Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron to cause problems on the counter-attack. Given the hosts’ poor defensive record, it could be an approach that reaps rewards.

Interesting stats

  • No player has scored more goals than Tammy Abraham in the top four divisions in England. He has scored 20, alongside Sergio Aguero, Teemu Pukki and James Collins.
  • Despite their inconsistency, Newcastle have kept three clean sheets in the Premier League. This is the joint most in the division with seven other teams.

Key men

Hudson-Odoi

The exciting winger has burst into form since his return from injury, as he continues to enhance his growing reputation. He has managed a goal contribution in every game that he has played in for Chelsea this season. As things stand, he has contributed one goal and three assists, but his overall threat is there for all to see. Against Southampton, the England international attempted two shots and created three chances, one of which was an assist. He adds dynamism and unpredictability to the Blues’ attack, which has generated an extra dimension to Lampard’s team. The youngster was praised for his application during the international break, as he starred for the England Under-21s. It would have been easy for a player that has featured at senior level to take it easy, but he saw it as another opportunity into prove himself. Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have stolen the headlines. However, Hudson-Odoi could be the greatest talent of the three. He will cause problems for a robust Newcastle team this weekend.

Allan Saint-Maximin

For all of the excitement around Chelsea, their defence has been struggling to cope with restricting space available to the opposition attackers. After their opening day defeat, Jose Mourinho was very critical of how open the team were. Although they have improved their shape since then, they have kept only one clean sheet in the Premier League. Newcastle will look to exploit that and the exciting Allan Saint-Maximin will be key to their approach. The Frenchman completed four dribbles and created two chances against Manchester United. He will be frustrating to watch at times, but he has real quality and he can cause problems for opposition defences. For a team devoid of creativity, the 22-year-old is key.

Team News

N’Golo Kante and Andreas Christensen have nothing picked up injuries during the international break, which makes them both doubts for this weekend. Matteo Kovacic is another that may miss out due to an international break knock. Antonio Rudiger could be back to strengthen the back line.
Matt Ritchie could be back by the end of the month, but this weekend comes too soon. Florian Lejeune is stepping up his recovery, but will be out until November. Isaac Hayden serves the second of his three-match ban. The struggles of Joelinton could mean that Andy Carroll is given his first start of the season.

Verdict

This could be a game that causes problems for Chelsea, due to the game plan of Newcastle. They are happy to sit deep and absorb pressure before causing problems on the counter attack. This season, they have been successful against Tottenham and Manchester United, proving that they can come out on top in the big games. That said, the home side have built positive momentum and they should have enough to take all three points.
Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle United