Chelsea travel to St James’ Park on final day of 2017-18 Premier League season with a top four finish at stake.
A midweek draw has left the Blues needing a victory here coupled with Liverpool defeat, if they’re to snatch the last top four spot from the Merseysiders’ grasp. Otherwise, Chelsea will be playing Europa League football next season.
Should Liverpool get a draw, Chelsea need to win with a 16 goal swing which would be the mother of all shocks.
Newcastle could have defender, Ciaran Clark back for this clash from a knee injury.
Christian Atsu is still out with a knee injury but will be fit in time for the new season.
Leicester loanee, Islam Slimani is still suspended.
Chelsea are expected to have David Luiz and Thibaut Courtois back from knee and back injuries respectively.
Midfielders, Ethan Ampadu (ankle) and Danny Drinkwater (calf) are both absent from this trip north.
Newcastle are on a four match losing streak, although three of those losses came away from home with the Magpies scoring in just one of those games.
At St James’ Park, Newcastle have lost just one of their last eight home games (W4 D3), with that defeat coming against relegated West Bromwich Albion.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last six, taking four wins and two draws.
Oliver Giroud has netted three goals in this period whilst four other players have scored one goal each.
- Newcastle have lost four of last five meetings (D1 L4), with the four losses all coming at Stamford Bridge.
- At home, the Magpies are unbeaten in last four league matches against Chelsea (W3 D1).
- Three Chelsea players (Hazard – 12, Morata – 11, Alonso – 7) have scored more goals than Newcastle’s top goal scorer, Ayoze Perez with six goals.
- Newcastle are yet to score from penalty spot this season.
- Midfielder, Matt Ritchie has had more touches on ball than any other Newcastle player with 59 touches. In comparison Chelsea forward, Alvaro Morata has had the most of any Blues players.
- Chelsea have kept the third highest number of clean sheets, managing 16 shutouts whilst Newcastle have achieved that on just eight occasions and joint second lowest number out of all teams this season.
- Between them, both teams have managed three goals from free-kicks this season.
Where can game be won or lost?
|Per Game Average||Newcastle United (home)||Chelsea (away)|
|Shots on Target||3.61||4.78|
|Goals per First Half %||38.9||46.9|
|Goals per Second Half %||61.1||53.1|
Although Chelsea are bound to be more dominant, discipline could very well end up being a factor here.
Newcastle may commit more fouls but if can defend well and frustrate Chelsea, expect to see a similar number of cards for each side but the Magpies need to be careful not to see red.
Should they see red, I can see Chelsea winning this because Newcastle will be unlikely to get the usual amount of second half home goals as they usually do, whilst the Blues are consistent goal wise across both halves.
Newcastle have nothing to play for other than the privilege of beating three of the ‘Big Six’ at home this season.
Chelsea meanwhile have to win and I can see them doing that, regardless of what Liverpool do in their game.
Prediction: Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea
Jake predicts: Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea
Result: Newcastle United 3-0 Chelsea