ENGLAND: Premier League
Venue: St. James’ Park (Newcastle)
The recent Saudi-led consortium’s takeover of Newcastle United hasn’t given the club’s results the immediate boost they might have hoped for. The managerless ‘Toon’ are still without a Premier League (PL) win this season (D4, L5) and are on the cusp of going ten opening league games without a victory for only the third time in their history.
The first of those occasions came way back in 1898/99, whilst the second came as recently as 2018/19. One positive is that they went on to avoid relegation in both of those campaigns, yet with five defeats in their last six H2H clashes with Chelsea (W1), it looks unlikely that we’ll see the start of their rejuvenation here.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea come into the gameweek top of the table and looking for a fourth consecutive league win inside the German’s tenure. The last time they did that was back in February and was completed with a victory against Newcastle here, so the omens look good. Both H2H wins last season were also accompanied by clean sheets, which is important to note as six of their seven PL wins this campaign have also seen them shut out their opponents.
Beyond boasting a robust defence, a big factor behind the success of the ‘Blues’ so far is their ability to take the early initiative, scoring first in all but one of their PL fixtures this season. That’s contributed to them boasting a half-time lead in six of those matches.
Players to watch: Recently back from injury, Newcastle’s Calum Wilson is looking to score in four consecutive PL appearances for only the second time. Mason Mount, last weekend’s hat-trick hero for Chelsea, has been involved in more PL goals for his side under Tuchel than any other player (G7, A4).
- Newcastle’s form in last 5 matches: DLLDD.
- Chelsea’s form in last 5 matches: DWWWW.
PREDICTION: Away Win