Chelsea will be hoping to get their third league win on the trot when Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United side come to Stamford Bridge on Saturday night. Although Frank Lampard’s men haven’t been in an inspired form since the start of the campaign, the mood around Stamford Bridge has undoubtedly been positive. Newcastle are coming into this tie on the back of an extremely spirited display in their 1-0 victory over Manchester United.
Chelsea will most probably stick to Lampard’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation with two midfielders controlling the pace of the game. The player that finds himself in the number ten hole, usually Mason Mount, has a fairly free role and is allowed to go where the ball takes him. Able to create space with his movement and with a keen eye for the killer pass, the youngster has been able to excel in the position and will be vital once again. The Blues will look to dominate possession from the start but may find it difficult in the latter stages once the midfield starts tiring.
Steve Bruce is expected to stick to the 5-4-1 formation that worked wonders for them in the fixture against Manchester United. This time out, things will be a lot harder though as the Blues are a tough nut to crack at Stamford Bridge. Joelinton will be forced to feed off scraps for long periods of the game as the Blues maintain their passing rhythm. The pace of the Magpies’ wingers could come into play in the final stages of the game, once Lampard’s men have taken the foot off the pedal.
Chelsea were hit with a wave of injuries following the recent international break, and this is sure to affect Lampard’s team selection ahead of the tie. Knocks picked up by Andreas Christensen, Reece James, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante are all worrying signs for the backroom staff.
Chelsea Predicted Lineup
Kepa Arizzabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori, Marcos Alonso; Jorginho, Ross Barkley; Willian, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham.
Issac Hayden’s suspension means that he’s certain to miss out on this tie while Freddy Lejeune is on the verge of a return, but does need another week to get back to full fitness. Matt Ritchie’s ankle problem is set to keep him out at least until the end of the month.
Newcastle Predicted Lineup
Martin Dubravka; DeAndre Yedlin, Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Jetro Willems; Miguel Almiron, Sean Longstaff, Matty Longstaff, Allan Saint-Maximin; Joelinton
Chelsea’s main man this season has undoubtedly been English breakout star Tammy Abraham. The youngster is tied atop the Golden Boot charts with Sergio Aguero and already has eight goals to his name. His partnership with Mason Mount has paid massive dividends for the Blues so far this season and is expected to continue.
Following last weekend’s display against United, picking the key men for the Magpies was a fairly easy task. Right from the off, the Longstaff brothers controlled proceedings against the Red Devils, and they’ll be looking to do the same once again. Although breaking down Lampard’s young team will be quite a task for the Magpies, both Sean and Matty will have to be in top form if they want to have any chance of actually winning.
The home side have been in decent form and are clear favourites at 3/10. Although the odds of 9/2 for a draw is decent, it does seem unlikely with two of the more insecure defences in the league coming up against one another. Newcastle find themselves at 10/1, further highlighting Chelsea’s expected dominance.