Chelsea vs Newcastle United
Two of the biggest Premier League clubs come head to head in London on Sunday, and it’s a massive game for both.
Chelsea have stuttered since conceding its 12-match unbeaten run, and this is a must-win game for Maurizio Sarri’s Blues to keep their slim chances of a title tilt alive and, more realistically, to strengthen their grip on that priceless fourth place.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United are in the thick of a relegation scrap, without a win in five games and looking a little weary. The last thing they need is a hiding in London, and a point would be like gold dust.
Chelsea need to be ruthless in front of goal
Sarri has his team well organised and, for much of the season, playing with more flair than last term. But all too much of their early season success was down to the exhilarating form of Eden Hazard.
The Belgian maestro has added goals to his all-round play, and that makes him one of the real world-class talents in the Premier League.
The Blues dominated the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Spurs and were unlucky to be a goal down at the half-way stage.
N’Golo Kante continued to play in a position further forward and came close to scoring at Wembley.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is dominating the Premier League 2019 news at the moment as FC Bayern Munich chase the youngster. The Bundesliga giants have tabled a £35 million bid and have just announced current wide man Franck Ribery is sidelined. Hudson-Odoi’s lively performance in the semi-final against Spurs has left Chelsea fans hoping and praying he stays put.
But when he sees how Jadon Sancho has blossomed at Borussia Dortmund, he might just have his head turned.
Hazard remains Chelsea’s top scorer with ten goals while striker Alvaro Morata continues to struggle, managing only half that figure—not a great return on the weighty fee Chelsea paid to bring the Spaniard to the Bridge.
Sarri is likely to dip in the market in January to strengthen his front line.
Geordies face a tough fight
Another relegation battle is Newcastle’s fate this season, and current form doesn’t fill the fanatical Magpies fans with much confidence.
In Rafa Benitez, they have a world-class manager. Nonetheless, he has limited resources to play with.
Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez giving instruction to his players from the touchline
Newcastle pushed Manchester United last week but still ended up on the wrong end of a 2-0 result. And as all us Premier League fans know, this league can be so unforgiving. A damaging losing run is hard to shake off as we move into the second half of the season, and smaller squads suffer injuries and suspensions.
Striker Ayoze Perez has said there is something wrong at Newcastle, as the Magpies struggle in the relegation mire. They certainly looked lacklustre in a 1-1 home FA Cup draw to Championship side Blackburn Rovers last weekend.
There is uncertainty off the pitch too, with Benitez refusing to sign an extension to his contract beyond the end of this season. The coach is Newcastle’s biggest asset and without him, this team would already be in the bottom three.
The Premier League 2019 odds suggest the Magpies should escape, though it will be mighty close.
It’s hard to see how Newcastle are going to beat sides, with Perez uncertain and Salomon Rondon the only player with more than two goals for the team. I can’t see them troubling Chelsea’s back line.
There have been some great tussles between these two teams in the Premier League era, with Chelsea winning 28 to Newcastle’s 14 and 12 matches drawn.
The Magpies thumped Chelsea 3-0 on the final day of last season, but Sarris’ men are a different prospect than the flaky bunch which followed up a league title with last season’s flop.
The Blues haven’t lost at home to Newcastle in the last six meetings, and while the Geordies have done as well away as at home—taking 11 points on the road—they are winless in five.
||Chelsea vs Newcastle United
||Chelsea vs Newcastle United Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.08
|January 13, 01:30 (GMT+8)
This match looks like a regulation home win, but the only caveat I’d add is that Benitez is a tactical and strategic expert who is capable of setting up a team to frustrate and snuff out their opponents’ threat.
He’ll be aiming for a 0-0 or a 1-1 result but, despite Chelsea’s misfiring in front of goal, I do think the Blues—particularly Hazard—will be too good for their visitors.
A 2-0 scoreline at looks a likely outcome, but a bet on 2-3 goals allows for Rafa making his point.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:
| = €20 (Highly confident)
|| = €10 (CONFIDENT)
|| = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.
Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.