Chelsea vs Newcastle: Match Preview, Prediction, Venue & Where to Watch Details | Premier League 2018-19
Chelsea play hosts to Newcastle United on Saturday as Premier League action returns to the countryside.
Both sides have endured recent struggles from their perspectives, as while Chelsea have struggled to establish a foothold in the race for the Champions League spots, off-field issues and lack of transfer activity coupled with Rafa Benitez's questionable tactics have put the Magpies' quest for survival under serious jeopardy.
Recent history supports the Blues, who have lost just one of the 23 home games against Newcastle, but their inability to put games to bed might entice hope among the away support.
Here's all you need to know ahead of the game.
Chelsea vs Newcastle: Kickoff Information
Date: 12 January 2019
Time: 17:30 (local time), 23:00 (IST)
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Livestream: Live stream on Hotstar
Chelsea v Newcastle: Form guide
Last 5 matches (in all competitions)
Chelsea vs Newcastle: Head-to-head
Chelsea wins: 72
Newcastle wins: 53
Chelsea vs Newcastle: Key players
It's time we get over this habit, but given the recent injury setbacks and the lack of goals from the forwards, we have to turn our heads towards Eden Hazard. Once again, despite the frame of the opponent and the 'home comfort' factor, Maurizio Sarri will be relying on his star man to create chances, interchange quick passes, apply his intelligence in the final 20 meters of the pitch and score goals.
Well, that's what the Belgium skipper has been doing all season and the onus is sure to fall on his shoulders yet again.
Amid all the chaos at St. James' Park, if there's been one silver lining in the darkest of clouds, it's Salomon Rondon. A five-man defence that often includes Newcastle's best player - Matt Ritchie, at left back, may not be able to transition the flow from defence to attack, but Rondon has thrived on the minimal service and provided some optimism.
He was always going to be vital in their battle for survival, and this time around too, the former West Bromwich Albion striker will have to win the aerial duels and send headers towards goal.
Chelsea vs Newcastle: Prediction
The Blues have been rather inconsistent in terms of recent results as not all has been positive in front of goal for Alvaro Morata and Co. They have seen a lot of the ball but not found the back of the net all that regularly.
However, against a side that is presently ruling over its own set of problems above the relegation zone, Chelsea should see this one and claim the three points. At least in this game, against a side that is expected to place a minimum of nine bodies behind the ball, we can expect the hosts to win this one comfortably.
They have to, in order to prove why they are worthy of a top 4 finish.
Predicted score: Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle