When Newcastle were purchased by a Saudi-backed consortium last year, the long-term vision was to eventually be rubbing shoulders with the Premier League’s so-called traditional ‘Big Six’, but Eddie Howe appears determined to fast-track the process. The Tynesiders are currently third in the Premier League table and six points ahead of Saturday’s visitors, working like billy-o to disrupt the division’s established hierarchy.
His side have suffered defeat on just one occasion this term and he’s already claimed the scalp of Tottenham Hotspur, while also picking up results against Manchester United and Manchester City. Another result here against a club they will be hoping to compete with in the coming years could send power-shifting reverberations across the Premier League and send out a serious message of Newcastle’s intent this campaign.
Graham Potter will be in desperate need of a pick-me-up after a midweek cup loss to Man City. In fact, the Blues are currently winless in the Premier League in four matches and have suffered back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Arsenal. If he is to take some of the early heat off his shoulders, then a win here is simply non-negotiable; or, he will have a long and ponderous month to pick over the bones from another disappointing result.
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Newcastle v Chelsea match stats
The midfield battle could determine this contest, and both managers will be determined to establish dominance around the centre circle. For Howe, Bruno Guimaraes has showcased his Brazilian flair and passing intricacy, but he’s also as tenacious as they come. He currently leads the way for most tackles in the Premier League for Newcastle this season (29). Jorginho holds that title for Chelsea (24), teeing up a fascinating midfield duel on Saturday night.
Of course, the hosts have other means to hurt a Chelsea side low on confidence. Miguel Almiron enters this match riding the crest of a wave. The once-polarising Paraguayan has bagged eight goals in his 14 Premier League games this campaign, which is only one fewer than he had managed in his first 110 in the competition combined. Callum Wilson will also be reeling with confidence after recently making England’s World Cup squad. He has three goals in his last three games.
For Chelsea, Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in six goals across his previous six Premier League games against the Magpies, scoring five and assisting once in that time. So far, he hasn’t been able to replicate his Manchester City form in west London, but he has previous against Newcastle and will be determined to generate some momentum heading into the World Cup later this month.
13 Mar 2022 – Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle – Premier League
30 Oct 2021 – Newcastle 0-3 Chelsea – Premier League
15 Feb 2021 – Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle – Premier League
21 Nov 2020 – Newcastle 0-2 Chelsea – Premier League
18 Jan 2020 – Newcastle 1-0 Chelsea – Premier League
It was a comprehensive 3-0 win for Chelsea the last time these sides met on Tyneside, nearly a year ago to the day. A Reece James brace and a penalty from Jorginho confirmed the three points for Thomas Tuchel’s Blues against a side then managed by Graeme Jones following the sacking of Steve Bruce.
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