Since their 2-1 defeat to league leaders Liverpool, Chelsea have bounced back with victories over south coast sides Brighton and Southampton, leaving Frank Lampard’s side fifth in the table on 14 points.
Newcastle, meanwhile, who had been struggling for results, picked up a crucial 1-0 victory over Manchester United last time out; a win which has moved them up to 16th on eight points.
With Chelsea battling to break into the top four and Newcastle trying to keep their head above the dreaded relegation places, Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge is therefore a crucial one for both sides.
With much at stake, here is 90min’s preview of Saturday’s clash.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 19 October|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Stamford Bridge|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BBC Sport Final Score/BT Sport Score (UK)|
The return of Callum Hudson-Odoi from injury before the international break was a big lift for Chelsea, with the 18-year-old set to start on Saturday, fresh off the back of scoring two goals for the England Under-21s this week.
Alongside Hudson-Odoi, defender Antonio Rudiger is set to be in line for his first appearance since September 14th after recovering from a groin injury. N’Golo Kante did withdraw from the French squad for their UEFA European 2020 Championship qualifying games against Iceland and Turkey due to an adductor muscle problem, but is now fit and ready to feature against the Magpies on Saturday.
In more frustrating news for manager Lampard though, he could well be without both Andreas Christensen - who picked up a groin injury while away with Denmark - and Mateo Kovacic - who picked up a knock against Wales.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has virtually a fully fit squad to pick from ahead of the weekend.
Allan Saint-Maximin remains fit after he returned against United and could feature at some point together with forward Andy Carroll, who has now made three substitute appearances this term. Alongside this, centre-back Florian Lejeune could travel after making a quick recovery from a knee injury.
Versatile Scottish international Matt Ritchie is Newcastle’s only real injury worry, with the 30-year-old likely to return at the end of October after undergoing a minor ankle operation.
|Chelsea||Kepa; Azpilicueta, Tomori, Rudiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Barkley, Mount; Willian, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi.|
|Newcastle||Dubravka; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Willems; Saint-Maximin, M. Longstaff, S. Longstaff, Almiron; Joelinton.|
Head to Head Record
Last season, Chelsea recorded the double over the Magpies, winning both games 2-1, firstly away at St. James’ Park in August before repeating the feat at Stamford Bridge in January thanks to goals from Pedro and Willian.
In recent years the Blues have enjoyed an impeccable record against Newcastle, winning their last six straight Premier League games at home against the Toon Army.
As alluded to earlier, Chelsea are in good form under Frank Lampard, picking up four wins from four in all competitions, including two wins in the league and an away win over French side Lille in the UEFA Champions League.
After a reasonably slow start in the Premier League - which included defeats to Manchester United and Liverpool along with a home draw against newly promoted Sheffield United - Chelsea have started to really fire in recent weeks, scoring 12 goals in their last four league games with English youngsters Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham now being supported in attack from the likes of Willian and Hudson-Odoi.
If Chelsea can build on their first clean sheet of the season, which came against Brighton in their last home game, the ability of this side in the final third means they should continue to climb up the table further.
On the other hand, 248 miles up north in Tyneside, Bruce’s Newcastle have made a stuttering start to their campaign. They have suffered heavy defeats away at Leicester and Norwich City and struggled at home against Watford and Brighton, only managing to pick up a point in both of these games.
However, a brilliant strike from Matty Longstaff last time out gave Newcastle a vital victory over a turgid Manchester United side, propelling them out of the bottom three.
Here’s how both sides have performed in their last five games.
|Southampton 1-4 Chelsea (06/10)||Newcastle 1-0 Manchester United (06/10)|
|Lille 1-2 Chelsea (02/10)||Leicester 5-0 Newcastle (29/09)|
|Chelsea 2-0 Brighton (28/09)||Newcastle 0-0 Brighton (21/09)|
|Chelsea 7-1 Grimsby (25/09)||Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle (14/09)|
|Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool (22/09)||Newcastle 1-1 Watford (31/08)|
Despite Newcastle picking up a victory last time out, Chelsea should have too much in attack on Saturday for their opponents as they target a move into the top four.
Both Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham are flourishing this season and will cause the Newcastle defence problems at the weekend with their pace, power and composure in front of goal.
If alongside this, you throw in a much-improved Willian and a now fit and firing Hudson-Odoi, it very much suggests that the Blues will have the firepower to blow away a Newcastle side that have conceded 13 goals in their opening eight league games.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle