Newcastle United, very much like Chelsea, come on the back of a very successful season. A 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge was one amongst the numerous successes they achieved last season. They will surely be coming into the match thinking about repeating that achievement, but think again, because this is the Chelsea of the new – the European Champions.
The ‘European Champions’ title is not the only thing shining bright at Chelsea right now. There is our No. 17 – Eden Hazard – who has taken the Premier League by storm. He will once again be the man to watch. It would not be surprising if the Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew decided to man mark the Belgian. If he does so, then Roberto di Matteo has the answer:
“If they double mark him that will free up some space in other positions.
Roberto di Matteo spoke after the 4-2 win over Reading that there needs to be a balance between attack and defence. It is vital that Chelsea find that against Newcastle because Alan Pardew’s men are clinical finishers. Regarding the team balance, Roberto di Matteo said
“The big challenge is to have the right balance.
“It is going to be a game when we have to defend very well but we also want our players to express themselves and create chances. But we certainly have to try to control Newcastle’s big threats when we can because they are lethal at times.”
John Terry has been ruled out due to the neck injury suffered in the Reading victory. The return of David Luiz, though, will soften the blow. Roberto di Matteo could hand the new signing Cesar Azpilicueta his debut. The £ 7 million man trained with the squad on Friday, but this game might come a little too soon. Marko Marin still continues to be on the sidelines.
Newcastle might have played a game less than 48 hours before this kick-off, but because Alan Pardew rested almost his entire first-team players, it is not going to affect the match too much. The Paddy Power App is giving great odds for Chelsea’s win in this match. In fact, it is Chelsea who will be looking for a breather after having played two matches in the space of three days at this early stage in the season.
Possible team line-ups:
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Oscar, Hazard, Ramires, Torres
Newcastle (4-4-2): Krul, Santon, Simpson, Perch, S Taylor, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Tiote, Cisse, Ba
Prediction: Chelsea to win 2-1
Kick-off: Stamford Bridge, 17:30 (BST)