Match Preview: Chelsea vs Newcastle United

Matt Debono

It's the return of the FA Cup this weekend as Chelsea await Newcastle United in the fourth round at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

Back to back cup ties for Chelsea as they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday to Arsenal, as the Gunners fought back from a losing position to book their place at Wembley next month.

Meanwhile Newcastle were beaten by league leaders Manchester City last Saturday as Guardiola's side fired three past the Magpies to extend their lead at the top.

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Eden Hazard celebrating his goal against Newcastle in December.

The last time these two sides met was back in December when Chelsea beat Benitez' side 3-1, courtesy of a Eden Hazard brace.

Team News

Chelsea will continue to be without some key men for Sunday's cup tie after Antonio Conte confirmed in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game.

Thibaut Courtois and Alvaro Morata are definitely out through ankle and back injuries respectively. Willian is also out for the Blues as Conte couldn't confirm when the Brazilian would return to the side.

Better news for the home side as Cesc Fabregas could feature as Conte declared that he will check on his condition prior to the game, but all in all, its positive news regarding the Spaniard.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea and Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal battle for possession during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on September 17, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Cesc Fabregas is back in contention for Chelsea this weekend after missing several games through injury.

Ross Barkley could also feature after making his debut for the Blues in the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday evening.

Rafa Benitez will be looking to make changes as he returns once again to Stamford Bridge after a hostile spell in charge of the club.

Prediction

Chelsea didn't look up for it against Arsenal in the semi-final on Wednesday and ultimately paid the price for it, despite going to the one goal up early on.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24:  Nacho Monreal celebrates the own goal of Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea  during the Carabao Cup Semi-Final Second Leg at Emirates Stadium on January 24, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
The Blues were well beaten against Arsenal and will be looking for an instant response.

Tired legs proved costly as the Blues' packed schedule took its toll and Antonio Conte and his players will be looking for an instant response against the Magpies. With several injuries, rotation will be required for the Italian. Newcastle will also be making changes according to Benitez.

Chelsea have only the FA Cup left this season, as the Premier League and Champions League are very unlikely for the Blues. After losing to London rivals and getting beaten in a semi-final, the home side can't afford anything but a win.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle United

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