So it’s back to the Premier League once more as Newcastle United look to end a horrendous run of form that has seen us so far fail to win a league game this season.
A third home game within the space of a week will see our attention turn towards the league campaign again after yet another disappointing and premature exit from a cup competition.
The problems is that this isn’t exactly the game you want when your team s low on confidence and seemingly devoid of ideas. Having said that, neither were Sheffield Wednesday in the end but with the greatest respect to the Owls – who fully deserved to beat us by the way – our next opponents are on a different level
The eternal optimist (yes, he is still there just) in me looks at arguably our best performances to date this season and notes that they’ve been against the top sides in the league so perhaps there could be a scope for an upset. The realist in me can unfortunately see nothing other than a defeat against Chelsea leaving us heading into our game against Manchester City (I know, the fun just goes on doesn’t it…) in a rather perilous state.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has completed his three game suspension so will be available for selection. Daryl Janmaat, arguably our best player recently, has recovered from the illness which seen him withdrawn against Sheffield Wednesday but Papiss Cisse is out along with Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett, Cheik Tiote and Emanuel Riviere while Massadio Haidara, Jack Colback and Rolando Aarons are doubtful after failing to feature in midweek.
Diego Costa is the only absentee for Jose Mourinho after being found guilty of an FA charge relating to his behaviour in the Arsenal game last weekend which means he will be banned for three games. Willian, Oscar and Pedro are all available after recent injuries.
As you can imagine, this is a favour that generally hasn’t gone our way and indeed the head-to-head record is tipped fairly heavily in Chelsea’s direction although there is also a tendency for this to be a fixture that leans towards the home side (see stats below) in recent times.
Some 74 games have been played at St James’ Park with Newcastle winning 38 of those compared to only 18 wins for Chelsea. However the fact that we’ve been woeful at Stamford Bridge, like forever, means that in the 150 games to date in all competitions it is Chelsea who have won the most notching up 62 victories with United totting up 50 wins.
Stats and facts…
Newcastle have won the last three home fixtures against Chelsea. In fact the result has gone with the home side on each of the last six league matches.
If Newcastle fail to win it will match the seven game winless streak suffered at the start of last season.
Steve McClaren is currently in his worst run as a Premier League manager having failed to win in his last ten league outings (four with Middlesbrough and six with us).
Should Chelsea lose it would equal the clubs lowest ever Premier League points total after seven games. It would also be a fourth loss in seven league games which would equal the run of the 1978-79 where they were eventually relegated.
Jose Mourinho is yet to win at St James’ Park in five attempts.
These types of games are often thought of as scratch games – give it a go, expect nothing and maybe you might end up pleasantly surprised.
I can’t see that tomorrow however and think things are going to get worse before they get better. If they get better…
Howay the lads!
Date: Saturday, 26th September, 2015
Venue: St James’ Park