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Newcastle vs Chelsea predictions: Magpies can maintain flying form
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Dan Sait
Spotlight
Eddie Howe has got Newcastle flying right now with the Magpies having taken 21 points from the last 27 available
Eddie Howe has got Newcastle flying right now with the Magpies having taken 21 points from the last 27 available

- Newcastle are in flying form in the league, having won six of their last seven games
- Injury-hit Chelsea arrive with a poor record against the top teams
- Recommended bet: Back Newcastle to win

At the start of the season, few would have had this match down as a key clash in the race for Champions League places.

But defeat for Chelsea at St James’ Park on Saturday evening would leave the Blues nine points adrift of third-placed Newcastle and could quite conceivably see the Blues as low as 10th when the Premier League breaks for the World Cup.

And Graham Potter’s visitors are struggling as they limp towards the mid-season adjournment, with injuries undermining the Blues’ defence and seeing them go four Premier League matches without a win.

Eddie Howe’s in-form Magpies will know this is a huge opportunity to land a significant blow in the race for the European places.

Team news

Newcastle will be without striker Alexander Isak until after the World Cup but fellow frontman and England squad member for Qatar, Callum Wilson, should return following a bout of illness last week.

Right-back Emil Kraft is likely to be out for the season with an ACL injury and defender Paul Dummett and wingers Ryan Fraser and Matt Richie all have calf strains that will keep them out until after Christmas.

Chelsea are without almost their entire first-choice rearguard.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is out with a foot issue, centre-back Wesley Fofana and wing-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James have all been ruled out of the World Cup with injury, and defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante has also failed to make the France squad following surgery.

Fellow defensive midfielder Jorginho is a significant doubt with a foot complaint while youngster Carney Chukwuemeka is unavailable due to a hamstring problem.

The stats

Newcastle have lost only one of their 14 Premier League matches this season — and that defeat was decidedly unlucky as Liverpool scored a 98th-minute winner to beat the Magpies at Anfield.

While Howe’s men were frustrated by a series of draws earlier in the season, at St James’ Park they have yet to record a lower expected goals figure than 1.5, including creating 1.8 against Manchester City.

Newcastle have consistently created a significant number of presentable opportunities against even the best teams.

Chelsea have won each of the last four meetings with Newcastle to nil, but that seems unlikely to happen again given their poor record against the better Premier League teams this term.

The Blues sit seventh but are arguable flattered by that position given they have played only four teams in the top nine thus far. 

They have not won any of those, either, drawing at home to Tottenham and Manchester United, getting dismantled 4-1 at Brighton a fortnight ago before suffering a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal last weekend.

Graham Potter's Chelsea have not won in four Premier League games
Graham Potter's Chelsea have not won in four Premier League games

Prediction

While it feels a stretch to say that a Chelsea backline which will likely feature Brazil captain Thiago Silva and Spanish international Cesar Azpilicueta is down to the bare bones, Potter’s squad has certainly been severely hampered by injury.

The Blues’ manager is arguably without his first-choice selections in goal, in both wing-back positions, in defensive midfield and central defence, which undoubtedly makes Chelsea more vulnerable.

That defensive frailty has been exposed by Brighton and Arsenal in Chelsea’s last two outings and could be exploited again this weekend.

Newcastle have scored four goals or more in four of their last seven matches and a home win is the call at 5/4 with LiveScore Bet.

Tags

Newcastle UnitedChelseaPremier League
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