Preview and odds for tonight’s Premier League clash
Saturday’s late kick-off sees fourth-placed Chelsea host Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.
Maurizio Sarri’s men will be looking to bounce back after their close-run Carabao Cup defeat against Spurs mid-week.
Newcastle will be looking to put in a better performance than the one which saw them salvage a late draw against Championship side Blackburn Rovers.
It’s live on BT Sport 1HD at 5:30pm, but which side will come out on top?
Chelsea have won four out of the last five games against Newcastle in all competitions, with the Magpies’ only win during that streak coming on the final game of the 2017/18 campaign.
That 3-0 win was a shock result against a Chelsea side looking to jump into fourth and secure last-gasp Champions League qualification.
The formbook also favours the hosts. Chelsea have won two and drawn one since their last league defeat against Leicester City.
Newcastle are without a victory in the league in their last four, picking up two draws and two defeats, scoring only once in that period.
Both sides are likely to name the strongest XI available to them, with each side trying to reach their respective season targets.
Chelsea have to play their strongest XI every week if they’re to remain ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United in the battle for the last Champions League spot.
The biggest selection headache for Maurizio Sarri is the number nine role. Alvaro Morata drew a blank in his last Premier League opportunity against Southampton, with the Eden Hazard ‘false-nine’ option coming up short mid-week against Spurs.
Newcastle are looking to avoid relegation and remain in the Premier League for another season.
Attacking options have been Newcastle’s shortcoming, scoring only 15 goals in 21 games this Premier League campaign. Defensively, they’ve been sound, conceding fewer goals than both Arsenal and Manchester United.
The Magpies will be without Brazilian winger Kenedy, who can’t play against parent club Chelsea.
Can the Newcastle back-line nullify the threat Hazard poses?
The Belgian wizard has scored seven goals and assisted two in his ten appearances against the North-East side, including a hat-trick in 2014.
Will Jorginho be suffocated by the Newcastle midfield?
Stop Jorginho, stop Chelsea’s creativity. Spurs did it effectively, it’s up to the Magpies to try and do the same.
Newcastle should also target an out of sorts Marcos Alonso.
Whoever plays down Newcastle’s right should not hold back in attack against the Spanish left-back, often exposed by pace and skill this season.
Our traders have put Chelsea down as clear favourites for this one, coming in with odds of 2/9 to notch the win.
Unfavoured Newcastle sit at 14/1 to get an unexpected victory at the Bridge, with the draw available at 24/5.
Even with the uncertainty surrounding the Chelsea front three, star man Hazard is 11/4 to open the scoring, with anytime odds on him at 4/5. He’s also 10/1 to repeat his hat-trick heroics of 2013.
Salomon Rondon is favourite to score for the Magpies at 3/1 anytime, with Joselu closely following at 10/3.
If you don’t fancy a Newcastle goal, Chelsea are 4/5 to win to nil.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.