The Premier League returns after two weeks of international football. To kick-off the PL’s return Chelsea travel to Tyneside to face 13th place Newcastle at lunchtime. Lampard’s side come into this game on the back of two consecutive wins. This fixture will give Lampard and his charges the chance to pick up where they left-off.
Steve Bruce’s side are struggling this season and would hope to arrest that downward spiral. The Magpies will look to secure some consistency and pick some valuable points.
Newcastle are still without the services of Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie while Ryan Fraser also misses out. Callum Wilson has a chance according to manager Steve Bruce who will hope that he passes the last-minute fitness test.
For Chelsea, Kai Havertz has recovered from COVID-19 but won’t make the squad after being inactive for two weeks. Christian Pulisic remains out but manager Frank Lampard will hope to have his star winger back within the shortest possible time. Thiago Silva is likely going to miss out this weekend after a long trip to South America.
Chelsea Starting XI : E. Mendy , R James, A. Rudiger, B. Chill well, N. Kante, K. Zouma, Kovacic, T. Werner, T. Abraham, M. Mount, H. Ziyech.
Newcastle Starting XI : K. Darlow , J. Lewis, C. Clark , J. Lascelles, F. Fernandez, J. Manquilo, I Hayden, J. Murphy , J. Shelvey, S. Longstaff, Joelinton.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Callum Wilson will be key to the Magpies chances of taking points off an in-form Chelsea. The former Bournemouth man has hit the target six times already and will look to add to that tally on Saturday.
Hakim Ziyech will look to continue his phenomenal form that he’s enjoyed since his return from injury a few weeks ago. Over the international break, the Moroccan scored three times and laid-off two assists in two AFCON qualifying games.
Lampard and his charges will look to continue their good form with another win that will extend their unbeaten run in the PL. The Blues haven’t lost a league game since their 2-0 loss to Liverpool in September. Maintaining their momentum going into the busy December period is key to their success this season.
For Newcastle, this isn’t a game they would fancy at this point in the season. The Magpies will hope that they can make and take chances while maintaining defensive solidity. Any mistake made on the day will definitely be punished by a team in fantastic form that has seen them score 14 times and concede once in their last 4 games in all competitions.