Chelsea come into this game after scraping past Swansea, a side currently sitting deep in a relegation battle. Chelsea were dominant and limited Swansea to just two shots, neither of which tested Thibaut Courtois. Chelsea must worry that despite winning, they could only find the net once from ten shots, Lukasz Fabianski preventing a larger scoreline.
This was the fifth time in seven games Chelsea failed to score more than once, although they have won five of those games. Antonio Conte will return to the touchline following his dismissal on Wednesday night, and will be hoping to oversee a more clinical performance. Cesar Azpilicueta could return to the side, having been rested in midweek, along with Eden Hazard, although David Luiz and Michy Batshuayi are unlikely to recover from injury in time to take part.
Newcastle fought for a well earned point against West Brom at the Hawthorns, a Jonny Evans’ own goal preventing the Magpies from losing for a fifth consecutive game. Rafael Benitez will be hoping his return to Stamford Bridge can bring back Newcastle’s earlier form, but they face a tough task having conceded nine goals in their last three games.
He praised his sides performance on Tuesday, but Saturday’s game may come to soon for his youthful project. He said “We did well in the first half. We controlled the game. To concede a goal in this was was very disappointing, I was upset, but the reaction of the players, their workrate – these players care. They will try. In terms of effort they were really good. As soon as we scored the first goal we were back in the game. We are a young team and we are in a learning processes.” He will be hoping his squad can further that process against his former side, but it looks likely that last years’ Premier League champions will be teaching the lesson.
Jonjo Shelvey will be key to his sides chances, having scored against them during his time with Swansea and Liverpool. The former England midfielder has yet to net this season, but did five times for them in the Championship and if returning to that form he will be a real threat.
Alvaro Morata has proved to be one of the summer’s best signings and he will be vital if Chelsea are to take advantage of Newcastle’s leaky defence. He has netted eight times this season across 13 games and will be looking to add to that tally on Saturday. Newcastle could climb to ninth place if results go their way and Chelsea will look to draw level with second placed Manchester United, who face fourth placed Arsenal. Unfortunately for the Red Devils and Newcastle, it is hard to see a result where Chelsea don’t take the spoils.
Match Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle United