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CHELSEA v Newcastle: Preview

Date: Monday 11th March 2024

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

We’ve all seen the players having a lovely time again this week posting their happy, smiley, videos from training. So up for it, full of energy, banging in the goals, it’s a shame their enjoyment is so rudely interrupted with actual games really.

This week’s interruption comes from Newcastle as the Magpies make the trip to Stamford Bridge. We have managed a win over them in the EFL Cup quarter finals earlier this season but it was slightly tighter than the 4-1 battering they dished out at St James’ Park in November.

Coming into tonight’s game, we drew 2-2 with Brentford last weekend and sit 11th in the table, whilst Newcastle beat Wolves 3-0 and are 1 place above us in 10th having played a game more. Newcastle have let in 29 goals away from home this season, so they’ll be delighted to be facing a side who couldn’t find the goal with a Sat Nav. They’ll be equally happy with whatever our team selection ends up being I’m sure, given we have a minimum of 9 players unavailable for selection today, 10 if Conor Gallagher doesn’t get over his illness.

We haven’t lost a Premier League home game in March since 2001, but Pochettino just loves to smash any lingering records…..

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MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, says “For me, Eddie is a fantastic coach and deserves big credit. I hope one day here they support me in the same way they support him because I am here, I am the coach of Chelsea and I want to win as much as our fans. I hope we have this support in the future.

We understand the frustration and the reception. We need to try to improve the way we play and try to change this feeling. We need our fans and we hope that on Monday the fans will be great and behind us for 90 minutes to win the game, that is so important. Maybe if I was a fan and I was in the stands I would behave the same. It is Chelsea and we are not matching the expectation. I can only win games. I believe in the club, the fans, the players and the project. Only the circumstances have delayed our plans. You can manage things but when you suffer too many negative things like injury, it’s not about the staff or the tactics. It’s like I have to justify why we are in this position. I would love to be in another position and just be able to talk about football. 100%.

At the moment I’m not going to try and convince people. If you want to fight for things, you must be consistent with a full squad. We can manage the circumstance. But we don’t have the capacity to have players providing competition because of injuries. I really believe we can succeed. We are suffering negativity but we can’t stop believing. We got to a final and we fully deserved after 90 minutes to win the game. We can believe that we can start to win games to get close to qualifying for Europe.

The important thing is to focus on ourselves, on our performance and how we are going to deal with injuries. We know Newcastle and can assess them but it’s about finding the balance in our team to be consistent.”

Newcastle manager, Eddie Howe, meanwhile, says “Chelsea have definitely improved throughout the season. They have got better and better – they have top quality players and an outstanding manager. We know it will be a very difficult game against a team that is dangerous but, as always, the focus is on us.

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, Wesley Fofana (knee), Lesley Ugochukwu (hamstring), Romeo Lavia (thigh), Reece James (hamstring), Carney Chukwuemeka (ankle), Benoit Badiashile (groin) and Christopher Nkunku (thigh), have now been joined on the injury list by Ben Chilwell (knee) and Levi Colwill (toe), whilst Conor Gallagher (illness) is a doubt.

For Newcastle, Kieran Tripper (calf), Callum Wilson (chest), Nick Pope (shoulder), and Joelinton (thigh) miss out through injury. Sandro Tonali is suspended and Lewis Hall is ineligible to play against us.

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Chalobah, Cucurella; Caicedo, Fernandez; Sterling, Palmer, Mudryk; Jackson

NEWCASTLE (Possible line-up): Dubravka; Livramento, Schar, Botman, Burn; Willock, Guimaraes, Longstaff; Murphy, Isak, Gordon

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 1-1 Newcastle (28th May 2023)

CURRENT FORM (PL)

CHELSEA: WLLWDD

NEWCASTLE: WDWDLW

OTHER STUFF

  • Chelsea have lost just one of their 28 home games against Newcastle United in the Premier League.
  • Chelsea could complete a league double over Newcastle for the first time since 1986-87.
  • Chelsea have lost only one of their past 12 home games in all competitions.
  • Newcastle have lost six of their past eight away matches in the Premier League, winning the other two.
  • Newcastle have conceded 29 away league goals this season.
  • Newcastle are on a run of 10 away games without a clean sheet.
  • Eddie Howe has won four of his last seven league games against Chelsea.

PREDICTION

Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-2 Newcastle

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