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Preview: Chelsea vs Newcastle United – stats, team news, line-ups

Stamford Bridge forms the backdrop for Monday’s high-stakes Premier League showdown between Chelsea and Newcastle United.

Despite guiding the Blues into the FA Cup quarter-finals, courtesy of a 3-2 home win against second-tier Leeds United, Mauricio Pochettino is still under heavy pressure. 

With Chelsea stranded in the bottom half of the Premier League table, another non-European finish looks like a virtual certainty, putting the Argentine in an awkward situation ahead of the kick-off.

Anything other than three points would probably spell the end of the 52-year-old’s future in the capital amid talks linking Chelsea with Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim, per the Guardian

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has emerged as a potential candidate in similar conversations, although it would be a surprise if Chelsea head down that route.

Only four points clear of 11th-placed Chelsea, the visitors come into proceedings amid a rough patch, albeit buoyed by a 3-0 thumping of Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out.

That success reinforced Newcastle’s European aspirations, drawing them within four points of sixth-placed Manchester United, who lost 3-1 to Manchester City last weekend.

Howe is not out of the woods yet, but inspiring the Tyneside outfit to their first league double against Chelsea in the Premier League era could prove a turning point.

Newcastle delivered a scintillating performance in the reverse fixture, demolishing the Blues 4-1 before a devastating injury crisis at St James’ Park ripped their ambitions apart.

Match Preview

Chelsea viewed Pochettino as an ideal person to spring a renaissance at the Bridge following a nightmarish 2022/23 campaign, yet ten wins from 26 league matches (D6, L10) have proved them wrong.

However, history backs the Blues for success as they have only lost one of their previous 28 Premier League encounters against Newcastle on home turf (W20, D7).

That’s perhaps the only encouragement Pochettino can get ahead of the kick-off. 

His underachieving squad has racked up only three victories in 27 games against sides starting the round above them in the standings over the past three seasons (D8, L16).

As if that’s not troubling enough, Chelsea have drawn their last two home league outings and could make it three consecutive winless top-flight fixtures at the Bridge for the second time this term.

Although you need to go back to 1986/87 for the last time Newcastle pulled off a league double over the capital-based heavyweights, this seems like a perfect opportunity to break that trend.

But it’ll also depend on the Magpies defying their disastrous form on the road. Only six sides have picked up fewer away points than Newcastle’s 11 this season (W3, D2, L8).

Chelsea could be the perfect opposition to turn those fortunes around, with Howe boasting the third-best managerial record against the Blues among Newcastle bosses to have faced them at least ten times.

Regardless of the outcome, entertainment seems inevitable, considering the visitors’ last four away league games have featured over 3.5 goals and both teams on the scoresheet (W2, L2).

Team News

Chelsea will be without numerous first-team stars on Monday.

Benoit Badiashile, Reece James, Romeo Lavia, Wesley Fofana, Carney Chukwuemeka, Lesley Ugochukwu and Christopher Nkunku are unavailable for selection. 

Speaking to the press in the build-up (via the club’s official website), Howe confirmed Kieran Trippier will not participate in this match due to a calf injury.

The Magpies will also take this trip without Nick Pope, Joelinton, Sandro Tonali, Matt Targett and Callum Wilson. 

Chelsea potential starting line-up:

(3-5-2): Djordje Petrovic; Axel Disasi, Trevoh Chalobah, Levi Colwill; Ben Chilwell, Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Conor Gallagher, Malo Gusto; Nicolas Jackson, Cole Palmer.

Newcastle United potential starting line-up:

(4-3-3): Martin Dubravka; Tino Livramento, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, Dan Burn; Joe Willock, Bruno Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff; Miguel Almiron, Anthony Gordon, Alexander Isak. 

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