Newcastle take on in-form Chelsea as football returns after International break
Chelsea to win 3-0
There’s always a doubt as to which players will return fit and on form after an international break, especially this season when games are coming thick and fast.
Chelsea were one of the form teams in the league going into the break, unbeaten since their second game of the season against champions Liverpool.
Their key players are now gelling together nicely, and star signings Timo Werner and Thiago Silva playing with increased confidence each time they step out onto the field. There is now a growing feeling that Chelsea could challenge for silverware this season.
As for Newcastle, their matches have been split so far into either very good or very bad, with supporters unsure of exactly which performance they’ll get from their side.
Manager Steve Bruce is an experienced head and has as good a chance as anyone of getting the best out of those players, but they must do so with more consistency to avoid a relegation scrap.
Form Guide (all comps): WLDWL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Two wins recently showed promise
Sublime Callum Wilson can cause problems going forward
Reasons to be fearful:
Scored just 10 league goals this season
Chelsea’s defence has improved significantly of late
Newcastle are the type of team who could spring a surprise on Chelsea at the moment.
They have enjoyed little consistency in their performances, but when they have found their groove, particularly in victory against Everton, they have shown that they have some quality.
On the counterattack is where they are at their most dangerous, as Everton indeed found out. If Chelsea are a little sluggish after their return from international duty, Newcastle have the pace and finishing ability to punish them.
The Magpies may have to do without Ryan Fraser, however. The former Bournemouth man missed Scotland’s games last weekend due to injury, and it was his pace against Everton which caused them problems.
Chelsea are likely to have too much for them going forward, and as we saw when Southampton beat Newcastle just before the break, The Magpies’ defence is not the strongest.
Star Man – Callum Wilson
Terrific striking ability in the win over Everton, he could get a chance or two on the counter this weekend
Form Guide (all comps): DWWWW
Reasons to be cheerful
Undefeated in eight matches in all competitions
Defence is much improved of late
Reasons to be fearful
Ben Chilwell and Pulisic are injury concerns
Kai Havertz could miss out through Coronavirus
At the start of the season, Chelsea’s defence was not at the required level in order to sustain a challenge for the top four, never mind the Premier League title.
In the weeks leading up to the International break, however, the Blues have been much tighter at the back, something which has coincided with the great form shown by new signing Thiago Silva.
The Brazilian has provided plenty of experience and quality at the back, and as such Chelsea have only conceded a single goal over the past six matches.
In turn this has allowed their forward players to go out and play with more confidence, something shown in bundles by Timo Werner, who has been scoring for fun over the past month or so.
Chelsea will hope to continue their good form against Newcastle, and they are likely to do so if they avoid complacency.
Star Man – Timo Werner
Turning into a world-class striker, capable of scoring the buckets of goals which Chelsea needed to win trophies.
Chelsea are favourites if they can continue form
Newcastle can cause problems but only if they are positive
Timo Werner likely to get on the scoresheet
Chelsea have been overwhelming favourites before this season, only to be brought crashing down.
Their match against West Brom was meant to be one-sided – in fact it was, towards West Brom in the first half at least. It promises to be different this time around, however.
Chelsea are a better team going into the next phase of the season than the one before it, their defence is more solid and their forward players in top form.
They also have the opportunity of going top of the table, albeit perhaps temporarily before other teams play later.
Chelsea to win 3-0