Chelsea entertain Newcastle United on Monday night as the Blues are looking to make it five wins in a row in all competitions under new head coach Thomas Tuchel.
Tammy Abraham scored the only goal in Thursday’s win against an impressive and resolute Barnsley side as he fired Tuchel’s men into the quarter-final of the FA Cup. (BBC)
Newcastle come into the game off the back of two wins in their last three games in the Premier League as pressure has slightly eased on manager Steve Bruce.
Since the former PSG head coach replaced Frank Lampard, there is no question Tuchel has made a positive impression. Firstly, by changing to a back three and secondly defensively looking a lot more organised as the Blues have only conceded once in five games under the German.
After Liverpool’s 3-1 loss away at Leicester, a win against the Magpies would see Chelsea go two points clear of last seasons champions and leapfrog them into fourth.
In the reverse fixture at St James’ Park back in late November Chelsea ran out comfortable 2-0 winners as Federico Fernandez put through his own net and Tammy Abraham finished off a lightning counter-attack.
That win put Chelsea up to 2nd place and it just shows how quickly things can change in football and especially in these uncertain times we are in.
In Friday’s press conference Tuchel provided an update on the fitness of four players ahead of Monday’s game. He (Tuchel) confirmed Thiago Silva will miss the game as he is still recovering from the injury sustained in the win at Tottenham and is aiming to be fit for Saturday’s match against Southampton.
The German also said that Andreas Christensen who came off at half time in midweek with a head injury didn’t suffer concussion and is vying with Kurt Zouma for a place in the centre of the back three.
Timo Werner has resumed full training after missing the fifth round FA Cup win at Oakwell with a dead leg and Kai Havertz has also recently been missing due to a knock, and it is unclear whether the summer arrival will be passed fit for Monday night’s contest.
For Newcastle, striker Callum Wilson and defenders Fabian Schar and Javier Manquillo are all facing up to eight weeks out with injuries suffered during last Saturday’s 3-2 win over Southampton.
Midfielder Jeff Hendrick is suspended after being sent off during the same game. Ciaran Clark is available after missing the Saints game because his partner had gone into labour, while fellow defenders Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez are both doubts for the visitors.
Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron should both keep their spots in attacking areas for the Magpies, while Joelinton replaced Wilson off the bench against Southampton, and it seems likely that the Brazilian will get the nod over Andy Carroll in the final third at Stamford Bridge.
“I feel the bond between the players, yes we have to improve when things become difficult or complicated and we have to prove we are a strong group.”
Chelsea have only lost one of their 25 home Premier League games against Newcastle United a 2-0 defeat in May 2012 as Papiss Cisse scored a memorable goal.
Chelsea are looking to win eight consecutive home top-flight matches against an opponent for the first time since winning nine in a row against West Brom between 1984 and 2013.
Only against Aston Villa (9) has Olivier Giroud scored more Premier League goals than he has against the Magpies (8).
Miguel Almirón has scored three goals in his last four Premier League games for Newcastle, as many as in his previous 32 in the competition. However, all four of his strikes this season have come in home games.
- Chelsea – WWWWD
- Thursday 11th February – Barnsley 0-1 Chelsea
- Sunday 7th February – Sheffield United 1-2 Chelsea
- Thursday 4th February – Tottenham 0-1 Chelsea
- Sunday 31st January – Chelsea 2-0 Burnley
- Wednesday 27th January – Chelsea 0-0 Wolves
- Newcastle – WLWLL
- Saturday 6th February – Newcastle 3-2 Southampton
- Tuesday 2nd February – Newcastle 1-2 Crystal Palace
- Saturday 30th January – Everton 0-2 Newcastle
- Tuesday 26th January – Newcastle 1-2 Leeds
- Saturday 23rd January – Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle
Predicted line ups
Chelsea – 3-4-2-1: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell; Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Werner.
Newcastle – 4-4-2: Darlow; Krafth, Clark, Dummett, Lewis; Willock, Hayden, Shelvey, Almiron; Joelinton, Saint-Maximin.
Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle
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