Chelsea vs Newcastle United: When Chelsea welcomes an in-form Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, they will be seeking to make it five Premier League triumphs in a row.
The Blues are coming off a 3-1 win over Norwich City on Thursday, while Newcastle extended their fine run with a 2-1 win over Southampton on the same night.
Chelsea is now in a state of flux, with the club facing a change of ownership and the capital giants facing a slew of limitations as a result of UK government penalties against current owner Roman Abramovich.
However, head coach Thomas Tuchel and the players can only control what happens on the field, and the Blues put their differences aside on Thursday evening to beat Norwich 3-1, making it four victories in a row in England’s top flight and strengthening their grip on third place.
Chelsea has 56 points from 27 league games this season, putting them eight points ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal in the rankings, despite the fact that the Gunners have two games in hand on their London rivals.
The Blues fell in the EFL Cup final to Liverpool at the end of February, but they advanced in the FA Cup with a 3-2 win over Luton Town earlier this month, and they are in good contention to reach the Champions League quarter-finals after a 2-0 win over Lille in the first leg of their last-16 encounter.
Tuchel’s team has the second-best away record in the Premier League this season, but they have been held five times in front of their home fans, and it remains to be seen what type of atmosphere will welcome the players on Sunday, given the London giants’ current state of flux.
With Newcastle changing their form in recent weeks to move away from the relegation zone, the Magpies will be hoping to take advantage of any troubles that arise for the home side this weekend.
Eddie Howe’s team hasn’t lost in the Premier League since December 19, winning six of their previous seven games, including a 2-1 victory against Southampton on Thursday night.
Newcastle was in serious relegation danger at the conclusion of last season, but they are currently in 14th place in the standings, 10 points clear of the bottom three, and only four points behind 10th-placed Southampton with a game in hand, which is an incredible turnaround given their problems.
Howe’s team will be full of confidence heading to Stamford Bridge, especially after picking up 10 points in their last four Premier League away matches. However, the Magpies have lost their last three Premier League games to Chelsea without scoring a single goal, including a 3-0 defeat earlier this season.
Chelsea hasn’t won at Stamford Bridge since May 2012, although the Blues have been held at home by Everton, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Liverpool in three of their past four Premier League games.
Chelsea Premier League form:
Chelsea form (all competitions):
Newcastle United Premier League form:
Chelsea vs Newcastle United: Team News
Chelsea will be without Ben Chilwell and Reece James for the second consecutive game, while Christian Pulisic, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Marcos Alonso are all doubtful due to sickness.
Azpilicueta had to be substituted at halftime against Norwich and will not be risked until he is fully fit, therefore Andreas Christensen might start in his stead.
If Alonso does not recover in time, Malang Sarr might be brought in at left-back, while N’Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger, and Hakim Ziyech should all return to the starting lineup.
However, Romelu Lukaku is unlikely to make the starting lineup, as Kai Havertz and Mason Mount are anticipated to start following their goals against Norwich.
Jamal Lewis, Callum Wilson, Kieran Trippier, and Isaac Hayden are all ruled out for Newcastle, while Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Joelinton are all expected to be healthy.
Federico Fernandez and Emil Krafth are also vying for a spot, while Fabian Schar, despite a groin complaint, is expected to play.
If Guimaraes recovers from sickness, Howe may opt not to start him, with Joelinton expected to return to midfield and Saint-Maximin slated to play on the right side of the attack.
If Krath fails a late fitness test, Javi Manquillo will take his place at right-back, with the latter being forced out in the dying minutes of the match against Southampton.
Chelsea vs Newcastle United: Lineup
Chelsea’s possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Christensen, T Silva, Rudiger, Sarr; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Ziyech, Havertz, Mount
Newcastle United’s possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Burn, Targett; Willock, Shelvey, Joelinton; Saint-Maximin, Wood, Murphy
Chelsea vs Newcastle United: Predictions
Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle United is our prediction.
This will be a true test of Newcastle’s recent progress, and a win for the Magpies on Sunday afternoon would not come as a surprise. Chelsea’s recent record has been remarkable, and we feel that the home side’s superior talent will allow them to earn a crucial three points.