Chelsea (H) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

There were a couple of positives to take from last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Palace, however it was largely another poor performance – only this time we were fortunate enough to come away with a point.

We showed some grit, didn’t give up or fold after going 1-0 down, but if it wasn’t for a host of Benteke misses, VAR or Wilson’s moment of brilliance we’d have been comfortably beaten.

That’s not being negative, that’s just a realistic take on our most recent performance. We’ll have to be much better in every department if we’re to get anything from Chelsea this weekend.

The Blues arrive after battering Norwich 7-0 at Stamford Bridge last Saturday. They were taken to penalties by Southampton in Tuesday night’s EFL Cup clash and look set to be without Romelu Lukaku once again, however they are formidable opponents even without the Belgian.

We’ll have to improve defensively to cope with there marauding wing-backs, creativity from midfield and interchanging attackers up top, not to mention the fact they’ve conceded just three league goals in nine league games so far this season – highlighting the challenge awaiting us at the other end of the pitch.

Saying that, Brentford proved a few weeks ago that they can be got at. The Bees had 17 shots that night and conceded just one effort on target in the process. I

t still ended in defeat but was arguably the most rattled Chelsea have looked in a long time, giving Graeme Jones the perfect blue print to potentially replicate going into Saturday’s game.

Team news

Martin Dubravka has been declared fit and available for the first time this season after training for ’12 days’.

Jonjo Shelvey is available again after serving a one-game ban at Crystal Palace, while Miguel Almiron and Joe Willock will be pushing for recalls.

Jones has confirmed that Paul Dummett and Elliot Anderson are the only two players ruled out of this one.

For Chelsea, Kovacic has joined Lukaku, Werner and Pulisic on the sidelines, however Azpilicueta and Christensen have both been passed fit.

Predicted line ups

(5-3-2): Dubravka – Manquillo, Krafth, Lascelles, Fernandez, Ritchie – Willock, Hayden, Almiron – Saint-Maximin, Wilson.

(3-4-3): Mendy – Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Rudiger – James, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell – Mount, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi.

I’d love to see Dubravka come straight back in – he’s a communicator who can help organise our defence – and think Jones might just hand him a start now he’s fit and available.

Fernandez could also come back into the side after another poor showing from Ciaran Clark last weekend, although I am perhaps saying that more in hope than expectation.

In midfield, Willock and Almiron’s energy and pace could be beneficial against a top Chelsea side who’ll give us plenty of running to do, meaning they could be preferred to Longstaff and Fraser.

The latter was largely anonymous at Crystal Palace, with this also being a game that could suit Almiron’s ability to work hard, track runners and burst into space when opportunities to counter arise at the other end.

Match prediction

It would be typical Newcastle United if our first win of the season came against the league’s leaders and the current champions of Europe, however I just can’t see us avoiding defeat here.

They’re rock solid at the back, conceding just three all season, yet have an array of quality in attack – highlighted by their 7-0 thrashing of Norwich last weekend.

Our best hope could be to catch their wing-backs high up the pitch and get at the ageing Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva – two players ASM, Wilson and Almiron could have for pace – but perhaps our biggest challenge will be keeping it tight at the other end.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-3 Chelsea

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!

65 thoughts on “Chelsea (H) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. It doesnt happen that often that a team thrashes a team 7-0 and then the next game do the same to another team (I am discounting the league cup). I think 1-3 sounds about right.


  2. I am going to carry on from the last thread. Jones is hardly getting any stick for the team he picked and the performance from the last game. I will say it again, tomorrow’s team will be a tacit admission that he got it all horribly wrong. We finished the game in midfield and attack the way we should have started. Pity there werent 5 subs as I would have taken Ritcie and Lascelles off as well.

    I wouldnt have started Donkey over ASM but it was the right move given ASM had 3 men on him every time he touched the ball.

    I dont get the Jones love in because he has mainly been in charge of tactics for this whole 9 game winless run. We will need a win tomorrow for him to get close to winning me over. The ex-Luton manager hired by Charnley and endorsed by Bruce may be yet another Emporer with no clothes in the Ashley era.

    I would prefer that when we get a new Manager that we get rid of the lot of them. That includes all the Steves and especially Nickson.


  3. Craig Hope saying more Manager talks sceduled next week. You can talk until the cows come home but you can also look at style of football, record and general CV. In all of these, Favre is streets ahead mainly because I do not know how much weight I give to Fonseca’s record at Shakhtar. If there was a chance at Ten Hag I would go for him, but I dont think there is.

    You can interview all you want but it is record that counts at the moment for us. I see people lauding Jones for being able to talk, but who did we have before – an incoherent, blaming buffoon. Anybody would sound good in comparison. Jones has to have the players doing his talking on the pitch before I take any notice of what he says in pressers.

    Talks a good game, so far has played mainly 9 bad games this season.


  4. He needs to load the midfield imo – go 4-3-1-2. Forget attacking fullbacks, they need to defend.

    —————-—— Darlow ———————
    Manq – Fernandez – Lascelles – Clark
    — Longstaff – Hayden – Willock —-
    —————-— Almiron ———————
    ———-—- Wilson —- ASM ————-—

    I’d go Clark over Ritchie as I think he’d be more disciplined staying back defending & would be a threat on a set piece.

    Almirons workrate would get him in my team, but I’d want him on his feet, not falling down claiming a foul all the time.

    I’m not suggesting that team can beat Chelsea – I’m not that daft. But Chelsea totally dominated the midfield when I watched the Norwich game & we have to try and compete in there if we stand any chance of avoiding a heavy defeat.

    Goal difference could come into it at the end of the season 🙄🤦🏼‍♂️.


  5. You’re going with Longstaff Sharpy? One decent game in 2 years. I almost gave him yet another chance but I am totally off that bandwagon now. His contract is up soon so I dont even think we will get any money for him. I think I might even play Hendrick ahead of him, and that is getting desperate.


  6. Longstaff is a total defensive liability. Same with Shelvey. They are both so slow, but at least Shelvey has a quick footballing brain.


  7. Eric – I’m not precious on Longstaff being in there. Stick Hendrick in if you’d prefer. Stick Murphy or Ritchie in there if they could keep their discipline and hold the shape of the midfield – same with Miggy. Then you could put Joelinton or Gayle up top instead.

    I just think we need bodies in midfield to try and disrupt the likes of Mount & Jorginho having time on the ball.

    Like I say, it’s highly unlikely we will get anything from the game at all. But watching the Norwich game, they went 3 at the back to try & keep Chelsea out & it was the worst idea.

    Chelsea’s creative players are just too good & can’t be given time to play. We have to get in their faces, and having the numbers in midfield should help that.


  8. Eric +sakes if longstaff is such a defensive liability why do the stats show he’s third highest in Premier league for tackles and fifth in Europe for same against Palace he was the only breaking there midfield up actually agree with what rafa said about him being more that Michael Carrick style midfielder hopefully new manager will recognise this and get him back to where he was couple of years ago and then progress even further something like a lot of the other players didn’t happen under Bruce


  9. My impression was that when he played deep he gave the ball away on short passes and could not keep up with play a lot of the time. I had not seen the tackling stats. If he plays tomorrow I will keep an eye on him to see how often he breaks up play compared to giving the ball away.


  10. Eric+Sykes:
    My impression was that when he played deep he gave the ball away on short passes and could not keep up with play a lot of the time. I had not seen the tackling stats. If he plays tomorrow I will keep an eye on him to see how often he breaks up play compared to giving the ball away.

    Eric – you may still be right. Tackling and passing are 2 different stat tables buddy – and I agree, he’s not the best passer of the ball, unlike Carrick.


  11. To be fair to longstaff Hadid have a pass on him when rafa actually started to play him truth being has ge not went backwards under Bruce like a lot of our players seem to have done because personal opinion don’t think that’s a bad squad we’ve got


  12. Ian Darke commentating on Leicester said Iheanacho has a “very cultured left foot”. That’s one from the past. They always used to say it about Trevor Brooking and for some reason it was always a description of left footers. It always put me in mind of their left foot hosting a tea party in an Oxford Quad.


  13. Gilly: I am just waiting for the team selection to see how many changes Jones makes.

    Not sure if we have much chance whatever team he picks, but I have a recollection that we beat Chelsea recently with 1 shot on target and I think that was extra time. We also had that game where everybody thought we would lose and Cisse hit 2 wonder goals.


  14. Yeah, it was 2019/20 with Hayden getting the goal in a 1 nil win. So that was under Bruce but before Jones.


  15. Why would Facebook change their name to Meta? Sounds like the stupidest corporate move since Coke changed their formula to New Coke.


  16. Jones names an unchanged starting 11. We had 25% possession last week.

    That is either bold or stupid.

    We will soon find out.


  17. Is Jones looking for a payoff?

    He cannot possibly think it is a good idea to play Longstaff ahead of Willock. I dont care if Willock needs a painkilling injection. I have seen many excerps from biographies where players said they played through pain every week.

    And Fraser if not a number 8. Yes, I would like him to get some playing time but as a winger who can cut in. Where he has played his entire career so far.

    Jones has put his neck on the chopping block with this team selection. Let’s see if it works out?


  18. Sort of bizarre playing the 3 slowest centre backs in the league together, shielded by the slowest midfielder – Longstaff.


  19. Looks like Halloween might be coming a day early for NUFC. Hope I am wrong, but after last week;s performance… Chelsea do not have Benteke to waste their chances either.


  20. Oh well I look forward to even less possession than last week with that team.
    Houston, we have a problem 🙄


  21. I hate 3pm kickoffs… always have to hunt for a stream, which is always shi.t, then I’m pis.sed off at the match, the team and the stream aagghhh


  22. Maybe it is a cunning plan by Baldr… I mean Jones, to force the hand of the owners to get a new Manager in?

    I will be shocked if we get out of our own half. Hooooof…


  23. Christensen brings down St Max, play on says ref, this ref is crap, gives Ritchie a yellow for supposedly taking to long to throw yet gives nowt to Christensen after bringing down st max 🙄


  24. I dont quite know what to make of this. We havent looked in really bad trouble but you also get the feeling they could score. Playing for a nil nil is dangerous. I suppose Chelsea might get frustrated and go to sleep, and we do have a strong bench with Miggy and Willock.

    Fraser doing a good job defensively and not playing in the middle.

    Still, Jones is not getting any credit from me unless we get a result.


  25. Hopefully that is the end of Jones and his apologists can now STFU.

    Talks a good game, pity about the football.


  26. Well, if Jones is to be kept on until the end of the season he can take over the tea duty from Charnley when he leaves.


  27. That rally weak attempt by Almiron in th 84th minute was our only shot on target. Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss. I have been saying that the tactics have been down to Jones.

    Massive mistake not to have someone come in and give Bruce/James 3 more games to fck up.

    Cannot possibly trust Jones with the Brighton game.


  28. It has been getting on my t!ts how people have been equating Jones being able to talk better than Bruce with him being a good coach/manager. Is he still a “breath of fresh air” Natasha?


  29. Dreadful… cabbage mk2. One shot on target. Almost zero possession. No corners. Absolutely shocking. Enjoying it Mandy? Get a decent manager in NOW! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬


  30. What did we expect – appointed by Charnley, endorsed by Bruce.

    Bruce was actually taking the heat off Jones being a sh!t coach. It is truly unbelievable that he put out the same team after Palace. We were lucky not to concede in the 1st half but as soon as the 1st goal went in we were toast.

    Played for a nil-nil and got what we deserved.


  31. Only good thing is there should be some fun at Spurs. I hope it is not a draw, I want the fans of either team to go into meltdown. I dont care which one.

    Ole has gone 3 at the back with wingbacks I assume. Still McFred in centre of midfield and NO WINGERS. That’s a 1st. Playing 2 strikers – Ronaldo and Cavani. And a number 10 – Fernandez. At least he is going for it unlike a certain useless fcr NUFC Caretaker/Teaboy.


  32. Still cant get over all of the praise for Jones being able to talk a good game. Should we get Benedict Cumberbach as the next Manager?


  33. Think Natasha might be regretting writing that article this morning 🙂

    How can we be so crap with this spend:

    Donkey 40 mil
    Willock 25 mil
    Wilson 20 mil
    Miggy 20 mil
    St Max 17 mil


  34. Graeme Jones: ‘I think for 65 minutes we were competitive. That was the gameplan. We had a little bit of momentum in their half. I was ready to make a couple of positive substitutions (when they scored)”.

    Has he been drinking or taking drugs?


  35. Going to cost an arm and a leg to fix this team. Luckily Bin Salman will have a few in his freezer from his enemies.


  36. Stuart79:
    Graeme Jones: ‘I think for 65 minutes we were competitive. That was the gameplan. We had a little bit of momentum in their half. I was ready to make a couple of positive substitutions (when they scored)”.

    Has he been drinking or taking drugs?

    He’s also been Bruced 🙂 Ask Natasha what a good talker he is and what a “breath of fresh air”.


  37. Did I read somewhere earlier that Jones was a breath of fresh air??? Same stench as Rafa and Bruce from what I can see!!.

    Surely at any level of football the most obvious thing is the more your opponent has the ball, the more chance they have of scoring – and the less chance you have!!.

    To allow Chelsea to have the ball largely uncontested for 3/4 of the game – how can that ever be a game plan???.

    But I’m not annoyed at Jones – he shouldn’t even be in that possession in the first place!!.

    I’m not even close to being impressed with these new owners.
    It was obvious before they got the keys to SJP that Bruce needed replacing & they left him in.
    We’re now with a caretaker manager & seemingly no closer to getting a new manager or DoF in.
    It’s quite pathetic really.


  38. Eric+sykes if you call longstaff you have to call maximin you know the ball hogger who majority of time can’t release the ball then gets caught in possession loses it then falls over the so called lesser teams had cottoned on to it so was meat and drink today for class side like Chelsea


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