The international break is finally over as club football around Europe resumes. In the Premier League, Newcastle will take on Chelsea at St James Park. The Magpies would want to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat away from home to Southampton.
The Blues were in very good form before the break, with consecutive wins over Burnley and Sheffield United. Frank Lampard will be keen for his team to continue their good form despite the break. A good run of games can help them solidify their place in the top four.
Steve Bruce’s side has won two of their last three Premier League games. It is for the first time since December 2019 they will look to win consecutive home games. They will also look to improve their attacking side of the game. In the first ten games, they have only managed 64 shots, which is the lowest in the league.
Chelsea should have good confidence going into the game. They are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games. The Blues have won five of their previous seven games against the Magpies. However, they have only managed one clean sheet in those five games.
In recent seasons, St James Park has been a tough place to visit for Chelsea. Last season they lost 1-0 here in injury time. While the season before that they only managed a hard-fought 1-2 win.
Newcastle will sit deep and frustrate Chelsea. They will look to hit them on the counter-attack. While the Blues would want to use their possession to open their defense and score goals.
However, the international break also comes into the picture. Frank Lampard’s players will be more tired than of Steve Bruce’s. Thus only a good selection can help Lampard win the game.
If the Blues don’t score till the 65th minute or scores are level at that time, they could be in trouble. Newcastle will feel that they can get something out of the game. They will put in more efforts to either get a draw or a win.
Team News and Injury Update
Steve Bruce will be without goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka. He suffered an ankle injury and he is out for long. The Slovak is joined by Matt Ritchie on the list of long term absentees due to injury. While new signing Ryan Fraser could be available on the bench after his thigh injury.
Frank Lampard will be without Christian Pulisic. American has some muscle injury. While Ben Chiwell was substituted against Belgium after a back injury. Though he may play against Newcastle. Kai Havertz tested positive for COVID-19 but he has returned to training after testing negative for the virus.
He could be in contention for the game. Thiago Silva has also been ruled out of the game. The Brazilian traveled back from South America and due to long flights and tiredness, he will not play against Newcastle. Billy Gilmour is a long term absentee.
Ones to Watch out for
Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson will be the key players in the attack for Newcastle. At the back club captain, Jamaal Lascelles will lead his defenders. Jonjo Shelvey will anchor the midfield for the Magpies.
The above-mentioned players will be more in focus. But the likes of Joelinton, Miguel Almirón, and Jeff Hendrick can cause problems as well. They will be the players to watch out for.
Hakim Ziyech has been the player who has in news for his good performances. While Werner and Abraham were in good scoring form before the international break. Edu Mendy will also be a key player for the Blues.
Mason Mount and Recce James will the players to watch out for considering recent Chelsea matches. Thus these two will the players to watch out for.
Head to Head stats
Predicted Line Ups and Prediction
Newcastle: Darlow, Murphy, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Jamal Lewis, Longstaff, Hendrick, Almiron, Wilson, Saint-
Chelsea: Mendy, James, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Ziyech, Abraham, Werner.
Prediction: Potential absence of Thiago Silva might lead to a goal. However, they should have enough firepower to outscore Newcastle. Chelsea could probably win by 1-2.