By 90Min
August 25, 2018

Newcastle and Chelsea kick off this Sunday on Tyneside as two sides who have experienced opposite ends of the fortune spectrum in their opening two Premier League games.

The home side didn't play badly in either of their games so far, but have found themselves with a solitary point to show for their efforts after following up a narrow defeat to Spurs with an away draw with Cardiff, in which they played the last 25 minutes with 10 men.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have got off to a flyer under Maurizio Sarri, having won 3-0 at Huddersfield and then stealing a 3-2 win against bitter rivals Arsenal at home.


Classic Encounter


Upsetting Chelsea is no unfamiliar feat to Newcastle, having got the better of their London opponents four times in the last ten meetings between the sides, and a classic League Cup clash between the sides in 2010 featured them doing just that - in some style.

Newcastle, having just been promoted from the Championship and still finding their feet, were the visitors to Stamford Bridge for a third round match in September, and blew the much changed home side away with their attacking football, running out 4-3 winners.

Chelsea took the lead early on, but found themselves chasing the game when Ryan Taylor followed up a Nile Ranger equaliser with a tremendous first half free kick, before Shola Ameobi added a third to put the visitors well in charge.

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Nicolas Anelka rescued things for Chelsea with a double to balance the tie at 3-3, but it was Ameobi who clinched it, heading in from a stoppage time corner.


Team News

DeAndre Yedlin is set to return to action after an injury sustained against Tottenham kept him out of the Cardiff match, while Isaac Hayden misses out through suspension after his red card last weekend.

New signings Yoshinori Muto, Fabian Schar, Ki Sung-Yong and Salomon Rondon could all be fit to start for the first time, but are unlikely to be thrown in at once.

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In the Chelsea camp, Gary Cahill is not expected to be ready to start, while Eden Hazard could make his first start of the season. There are no other injury concerns.


Predicted Lineups

Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Atsu; Perez, Rondon. 

Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilcueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Morata, Hazard 


Predictions:

A trip to St James' Park by no means guarantees a result for Chelsea, even at their best, so with the visitors still finding their feet under Sarri, wiley old Rafa Benitez will fancy his side's chances of a result.

Tony Marshall/GettyImages

Chelsea, meanwhile, will be very high on confidence after successive wins, and will be all too aware of how London rivals Spurs came to St James' and stole a win. 

It represents a tough fixture for both sides, but Newcastle will be desperate for a positive result, and if Chelsea are going to get a reality check anywhere outwith the 'big six' sides, it will be at Newcastle. 

Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Chelsea

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