The New Oil Club will face The OGs of the same as Newcastle United will take on Chelsea at St. James Park this Saturday afternoon. The Newcastle takeover has happened and the atmosphere at St. James Park against Spurs just showed what it meant to the fans. Now as the foundation has been laid down, fans will be hoping that their club can reach heights similar to what their visitors have enjoyed since they witnessed a turnover. But before all the possible enforcements, one thing the club has to prioritize is to survive the relegation battle this season and this game is not going to aid for the same as Chelsea come to the game with a 7-0 thrashing win in their last league game. With the Fonseca deal close to be finalized, this could be the last game under the temporary charge of Graeme Jones.
Chelsea have very well managed to get out of the difficult patch of games and now have relatively easier games at their disposal that they will use to cement their position on the summit of the table. A flawless game against bottom-placed Norwich City where they managed to dismantle the relegation-threatened Canaries have definitely sent a shock in the spine to all the teams in the league. Now they face the Magpies who sit just one spot better than the last and a walkover is what most people predict for the Blues but key players still sit out due to injuries which could be a key factor with considerations of a packed schedule of games.
WHERE AND WHEN?
Venue: St. James Park.
Date: Saturday, 30th October 2021.
Time: 15:00 (BST).
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Assistant referee: Neil Davies and Mark Scholes.
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson.
VAR: David Coote, Nick Hopton.
Shelvey will be back for the Magpies after serving his suspension but Jones will still miss Dubravka, Woodman, and Dummett. Each individual will be pushing for a starting spot in the post-Bruce era as they look to be key in the club’s transition.
Tuchel has managed to rotate his squad well and the great quality on the bench has been vital to help them where they sit right now. Even with Lukaku and Werner ruled out, the team has managed well, and now with the positive news around Pulisic being involved in the training, this will only get better. Also, Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Kante are fit to feature and add up to Tuchel’s already existing struggle to chose the best XI. Ruben Loftus Cheek did return to solo training following his hip injury but it will be assessed if he could get any minutes in the weekend game.
Chelsea were struggling to fit the game around Lukaku and his absence proved to be blessing in disguise as they managed to hit seven past a lack-lustre Norwich side. While many believe it was more on Norwich’s poor display but one can not discredit what the Blues did. More than the victory Tuchel will be pleased with some of his first team members picking up form. Mason Mount and Hudson-Odoi’s great performances will give the German a breath of relief. Now against the Magpies, Havertz will be hoping to get his Premier League tally up as well, with Mount and Odoi alongside him in the front three. They will be up against a back 5 of Newcastle which managed to do well most of the times against Crystal Palace and might pose a problem to Chelsea if they are not clinical enough. Chelsea will highly rely on their creative players in this game with support of full-backs who will try to stay as high as possible.
The defence will have to be on point again as unlike Norwich, Magpies have been good in front of the goal and have netted 11 times this season already, a number far greater to teams around them in the table. Wilson looks to have picked up form and might be reunited with Fraser who was back in the XI after a long spell. A state of transition is what Newcastle need and definitely they will need to build on. Any point from here is what they will hope for and try to trouble Chelsea as they did in the visitor’s last visit of the stadium.
After losing his place to Marcos Alonso in the starting XI, Chilwell, as people near to Chelsea report, did not lose his heart and gave his best in the training. And once the opportunity came, he grabbed it with both hands. 4 goals in same number of games have just been exceptional from him as the last player to achieve such a feat for the club was none other than Eden Hazard. Many people believed Alonso will better Chilwell in the attacking wing-back role and that the former is a better player in back 4, but Ben and has adapted to the role very well this season. In the last four games he has been playing very high up top, with journalists terming him as a ‘false wing-back’. His heat map shows that he isn’t fearing to get inside and support the front 3. His runs inside from the wing allows players like Odoi and Werner to drift wide and work from the left. Ben’s positioning in the attacking third, often seen sitting just at the edge of the box, has helped him get the goals credited under his name.
To break the back-5 block of Magpies, he will be very crucial to go one on one against his opposite number. Also, recently Tuchel has been vocal about Havertz’s role in the box and his ability to head the ball. Chilwell with his left foot will be often seen to find the German’s head to work on his manager’s tactics. Don’t forget to put him in your fantasy teams before the deadline as clean sheets for Chelsea just seem to be a routine now.
‘Best matchday finisher’ as Graeme Jones terms him, Wilson is definitely someone who the Newcastle fans and the board can rely on even with investments. Termed as one of the smartest signings during his arrival, Wilson has finally stepped up with banging goals. Wilson has proved to be a clinical finisher for long and has proved to be one of the best in his positions despite the lack of quality around him. In the 5 starts this season, he has netted 4 times and also his wonder strike against Crystal Palace helped Magpies rescue a point. When one talks about going against the best teams, Wilson is the man to rely on and has ample amount of experience against the Londoners. Playing with Bournemouth, he and his team were always posed threats to Chelsea as the Blues’ fans termed them the most annoying team to face. Now with his new team, he could strip the mighty blues of the top spot if he can go against the strong back 3 of Chelsea. With 1.12 goals per 90 this season, he looks very impressive and the Magpies will hope for him to rescue some points this weekend.
Newcastle United Predicted XI: Darlow; Krafth, Lascelles, Clark; Manquillo, Hayden, Willock, Almiron, Ritchie; Wilson, Saint-Maximin.
Chelsea predicted XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Silva; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell; Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Havertz.