Chelsea (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

After yet another painful international break, Premier League football football finally returns this weekend – and it’s another ‘big six’ side for Steve Bruce to tackle.

The break came at the wrong time in many respects, with us on a much needed high after that magical win over Man Utd, seeing Matty Longstaff enjoy a dream debut and the team put in a much more dedicated and disciplined performance in all areas of the pitch.

Here we face an exciting but naive Chelsea side who I expect to have roller coaster season.

They’re good going forward, with young talents Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount in inspired form under new boss Frank Lampard, but with key man N’Golo Kante out and just 1 clean sheet in 12 for them this season, there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t get a result here.

Predicted XI

I don’t see Bruce changing things from the side that beat Man Utd 1-0 a fortnight ago.

Hayden remains suspended, Ritchie isn’t ready to return just yet and Matty Longstaff looks set to get another opportunity in midfield alongside his brother.

The only area of slight concern may be DeAndre Yedlin at right-back. He did a great job on his return against the Red Devils, but he only arrived back at Benton yesterday – something Newcastle aren’t happy with following his midweek game out in Canada.

Dummett will be hoping for a recall, not that I expect him to return following Ciaran Clark’s solid showing helped us earn a rare clean sheet last time out.

Joelinton struggled at times against Man Utd and Bruce now has options to play with following Dwight Gayle and Andy Carroll’s return to full fitness, so that could also be an area to watch.

That said, I believe the Brazilian will come good. If anything, he needs more support and a run of games to get used to the division – not to be dropped – while both Saint-Maximin and Almiron could be key to our hopes on the counter attack and a real thorn in Chelsea’s side if used right.

Preferred NUFC XI – (3-4-2-1) – Dubravka – Schar, Lascelles, Dummett – Yedlin, M.Longstaff, S.Longstaff, Willems – Almiron, Saint-Maximin – Joelinton.

The Opposition

Here’s a few ‘ones to watch’ in Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side:

Tammy Abraham – The man who almost joined NUFC on loan two years ago has been in outstanding form this season, racking up 9 goals in all competitions already. He comes alive in the box, has impressive movement and mobility for his height and doesn’t tend to miss many when presented with a chance.

Mason Mount – The goalscoring midfielder who was on loan at Derby under Lampard last season has just earned his first call up to the England senior side, so will be full of confidence coming into this one. He has 4 Premier League goals to his name already and has impressive composure and timing in the final third.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – The 18-year-old winger is another exciting talent who Lampard could hand a first home start of the season to here. He’s got pace to burn, has impressive footwork and is VERY direct.

Predicted Chelsea XI (4-1-2-3) – Kepa – Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso – Jorginho – Barkley, Mount – Willians, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi.

Team news

Matt Ritchie (ankle) and Florian Lejeune (knee) are both ‘close’ but will miss out once again, while Isaac Hayden is suspended.

Dwight Gayle and Andy Carroll both look set to make the bench after coming through training unscathed over the international break.

For Chelsea, key man N’Golo Kante has been ruled out by Frank Lampard, while Mateo Kovacic, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger also look set miss out.


The first 20 minutes will be key in this one for me.

Give this Chelsea side full of exciting young talents an early lead and they could be difficult to stop with their tails up, but stay tight at the back, compete for every ball and hit them on the break when we get the chance and we could be in business.

I think Chelsea will edge it on the basis that they have more goals in their team, but I back us to score and make a game of it.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle

Howay the lads!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

43 thoughts on “Chelsea (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

  1. I think Chelsea are on par with Leicester with a lot of young talent and a few older heads to settle them down. As I said on the last thread, hopefully we can take advantage of their inexperience and Abraham and Mount will come back down to earth. At the moment they are on for Mo Salah and Frank Lampard (respectively) type seasons in terms of goals scoring. That just doesn’t happen for youngsters the PL in 1st full seasons. Not even for Rooney and Ronaldo who I think found it hard to get to double figures in their early years.


  2. And the 5-0 at Leicester is done. That sometimes happens when you have your best player sent off being 1 nil down already. In an odd sort of way I think that Bruce’s strop may have helped him stamp his authority on the team and shown he wasn’t just their mate who would put his arm around their shoulder. You don’t play for Ferguson for years without having some grit.


  3. To clarify, I don’t necessarily think Hayden is our best player but he certainly has been in 2019. Longstaff senior was good but got injured and Ayoze and Rondon are gone. So, I would say that Hayden has been our best player – Schar wasn’t a regular and Lejeune was injured again.

    I don’t think Dummett deserved to be dropped either. But Bruce wanted a shake up and Paul was the odd man out. What Clark brings though is a threat from set pieces that Dummett doesn’t seem to possess. So, lets see.

    We have a lot of centre halfs now so someone has to miss out or be sold.


  4. Eric – I really don’t expect anything against Chelsea. Despite all of the changes, I think Frank and his young players are a formidable team already – I think they are far more likely to get a top 4 finish over the likes of Man Utd and Arsenal – I think they have a better squad than both.
    I understand your Leicester comparisons, but I also think Chelsea are better than them too – better forward options imo.

    Whilst I don’t expect a result – I really want to see a performance. The Man Utd performance has to be the benchmark now.

    I still don’t know where the goals are in that predicted line up though.


  5. Sharpy: Chelsea have a good bench as well with the likes of Pedro and Willian. But young teams have blips and I hope it is against us. I think they will make top 4 because Man U are shyte, and Arsenal like to shoot themselves in the foot. And Spurs… Their players are being paid half the going rate and now Levy’s chickens (c*ckerels) are coming home to roost. They offered Eriksen 100k a week, that is less than JLingz FFS. They have a good 1st 11 but not if they all want to be elsewhere because they know they are being taken advantage of money wise.

    I think we have a decent bench with Dummett, Carrol and Gayle so this could be tighter than people think.


  6. JLingz is negotiating a new deal. Probably around 160k a week. Hypothetically, if you were to pay that sort of money who would you choose? Him or Ericksen? Lothar Mattheus said Eriksen is not good enough for Bayern and I agree. Or Madrid or Barca.

    He is good enough for Arsenal, Man U and Chelsea though.

    Levy was never going to get away with paying half the going rate forever. These players all have the same Agents so they know what others are paid.


  7. Not expecting much from us today. Assuming Tammy will carry on where he left off before the international break and put one past us, can see Mount getting one too for that matter. The Chelsea youngsters look energized under Frank, there was no real expectation on them or Frank from the owner so i read, given they’re transfer issue.

    Hopefully our own youngsters will show up like last week and carry on where they left off.

    Sadly i see a loss, hopefully not of the Leicester type. 🙄



  8. Fancy another upset here. Chelsea are inconsistent due to their youth so the question is can we take advantage…


  9. The Chelsea fan that Olly interviewed seems very confident in a team that hasn’t really beaten anybody significant this season. He wouldn’t take anybody from our team. Not even our centre backs? Lejeune, Schar? Their centre backs have potential but they are young. I think ours are better at the moment though.

    Whatever, as valley girls would say. Hope he is over confident.


  10. Was listening to a football podcast and heard a stat that Man U are on 1998 goals in the PL, which the journo said was ironic because that is the year they would like it to be, especially as they are playing Liverpool.

    Well, I thought it was funny, anyway 🙂


  11. Bernard scores for Everton and goes to kiss the badge and chooses the wrong side of the shirt and kisses the Umbro logo instead. Realises his mistake and belatedly kisses the Everton badge on the other side of his shirt.


  12. OK. Can The Chronic just fckin stop with the Peter Kenyon takeover stories. It has been like one-a-day for months now. In the vernacular of where I live now – it ain’t happening Guys. Now go and find a real story. I assume you all have degrees in journalism! Not you Ryder, I know you learnt your “craft” on the knees of Oliver and Gibson.


  13. Watching West Ham/Everton. Declan Rice just got yellow carded. Before that I didn’t even notice he was on the pitch. Most overrated player in the PL. Another of the Southern press WHam darlings.

    I am probably the only person who thinks Carrick was overrated as well. Another press darling.


  14. Right on cue – who gives the ball away to let Everton seal victory – Declan Rice. The most overrated player since Jack Wilshere.


  15. Fair first half, still guilty of not finishing our chances but dealt well enough with Chelsea so far.


  16. I doubt Watford will go down so I am glad they are beating Spurs.

    I never had anything against Spurs until about 18 months ago. It was their PR Dept passing on the guff about the “Greatest Ever Stadium Built for all of Mankind” and the Southern Press having a collective w@nk about it that set me off.


  17. Well so far so good. Played well in the first half. I think we can take something from this if we can keep up this performance… ?


  18. Mackems losing at half time against Whickham wanderers. Didn’t realise Rolando Aarons was at Whickham… ?


  19. In junior school they had a TV room and when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon they pulled us all out of classes to witness when he said “this is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. I sort of appreciate that the teachers and administrators let me witness history.

    I am not so appreciative of the e-mail from Daniel Levy saying the opening of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the greatest event in the history of the world and is more important than the birth of your children and the D Day landings.


  20. I thought we showed a lot of fight against a very talented Chelsea team. Not too disappointed as we have some chances against possibly easier teams before the next bloody international break.

    Other results are OK. Because, make no mistake we are in a relegation fight.

    Watford draw. Brighton lose. S’ton draw.

    Ha Ha Spurs. Hope the red bindippers tonk Man U and it will be an OK for me.


  21. As i suspected, gave a good account in first half, couldn’t retain possession second half but most importantly we cannot score goals and that is ultimately what will send us down unless addressed in january .

    Dubs was on course to be my MOTM for two outstanding saves but gonna give it to Clark who was outstanding in defense, some vital clearances .

    Back in the bottom 3 again 🙁


  22. Can’t understand how Clark gets in the side. Wasn’t good enough two years ago. Too slow. I would also question what Carroll has achieved so far. I was not impressed by Bruce’s subs. We were being overrun and he brings on a forward in place of Miggy who does have some defensive qualities.


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