The Magpies’ third fixture of the 2018/19 campaign sees them play host to Chelsea this Sunday.
Rafa Benitez’ side were disappointed with the result last time out as they failed to score against newly promoted Cardiff and were only able to bring a point back to Tyneside. City frustrated Newcastle for most of the game and made it difficult for the away side to create in the final third. The best of the first half chances came from Ayoze Perez coming inside as he was played in one-on-one from the right wing but could only send his shot straight at Neil Etheridge’s gloves. In the second half Newcastle were down to ten men when Isaac Hayden was sent off for a high sliding challenge. Newcastle may have been lucky not to have Kenedy sent off in the first half after he kicked out at Victor Camarasa just yards from the referee. Hiwever, the decision would come back to haunt Newcastle as it was Kenedy who missed a 96th minute penalty to win the game for the Geordies.
Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea side have had a much brighter start to the season picking up two wins from two. Last weekend they picked up a 3-2 win against London rivals Arsenal and will be looking to pick up another three points on Tyneside. First half goals from Pedro and Alvaro Morata put Chelsea 2-0 up before Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi levelled the score to make it 2-2 at the break. The Blues had the better of the second half chances with substitute Eden Hazard setting up Marcos Alonso for the winner in the 81st minute.
Chelsea capitalised against Arsenal when they found space in between the defence, so Benitez will be keen to prevent players like Pedro, Hazard and Willian from hitting them on the counter attack. Newcastle fans may have to expect their side to be on the back foot in this fixture as Chelsea have had over 62% possession in both their games so far this season.
Newcastle will be without Kenedy for this game as he is ineligible to play against his parent club. Florian Lejeune remains out of action for Newcastle and there will be question marks over who will start the game at right back as DeAndre Yedlin and Javi Manquillo have both picked up knocks in previous outings, and Hayden will be suspended due to his red card last weekend. Meanwhile Chelsea are expected to be missing Cesc Fabregas as he has missed the opening two matches through injury.
The Magpies will be hoping for a similar result to the one they achieved at St. James’ Park earlier this year as they beat Chelsea 3-0 at the end of last season.
Predicted Newcastle line-up: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett; Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Murphy; Perez; Rondon.
Predicted Chelsea line-up: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Morata, Hazard.
Predicted final score: Newcastle 0 – 2 Chelsea