Chelsea vs Newcastle United: Preview and Prediction
As the fate of the prestigious 2022-23 Premier League trophy has already been decided, now it’s time for the other big guns to secure their desired positions in the final standings.
Chelsea is eying to finish this ongoing forgettable EPL campaign with a win over the fourth-placed Newcastle United side. The last matchday of the English top-flight football league will be hosted by the Blues at Stamford Bridge this Super Sunday.
Earlier, we witnessed three different managers plying their trade on the sidelines of the London Blues but no one could extend their stay until the end of the season while the current caretaker manager Frank Lampard has also won only a single game since taking over in the first week of April. The last time Chelsea failed to make it to the Top 10 of the Premier League was back in the 1995-96 season when they were yet to achieve the EPL glory.
On the other hand, the White and Blacks are having their finest Premier League campaign over the past 20 years and have managed to break into the Top 4 for the first time since 2003. They are currently seated at the 4th position in the standings with 70 points from 37 matches and will be staying in the same position even if they lose the final league game.
Following their thumping away victory over Bournemouth and a crushing 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest, Chelsea faced both of the Manchester-based heavyweights and failed to attain a single point from those two fixtures. The Magpies were rooting for the Blues to succeed against Manchester United however, the Red Devils completely outclassed the visitors to emerge victorious by 4-1 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the White and Black outfit has also recently lost momentum after being able to register only a single triumph in the month of May. The fans had high hopes from the previous home fixture against Leicester City especially after their squashing win over Brighton however, the clash ended in a goalless draw.
These two English heavyweights have a history of squaring off against each other for more than 100 years through 172 encounters across all competitions. The Blues graced the English First Division league in the year 1907 where they suffered a 0-1 defeat in their first-ever clash with the Magpies.
However, the London Blues have never looked back since then and are currently leading the head-to-head record of this rivalry with 78 triumphs compared to the NUFC’s win count of 55.
The most recent chapter of this rivalry was staged in the second week of November 2022 at St James’ Park where the home team edged past Chelsea to secure all three points. A 0-1 defeat at the hands of the White and Blacks marked a hat-trick of losses for the Blues who spotted themselves out of Top 6 and never managed to retrieve it.
The solitary goal of the game was scored by the 23-year-old midfielder Joe Willock with assistance from Miguel Almiron while the Player of the Match honor was bagged by the right-back Kieran Trippier.
This is going to be the last competitive game of the season for both of the combatants hence we may see both managers fielding a full-fledged lineup on the battlefield.
The 22-year-old French defender Benoit Badiashile is the latest one to join the long list of Blues who are unavailable for the rest of the season due to injury concerns. Ben Chilwell was spotted in the training camp before the United game however, there are still no signs from the team management regarding whether we will get to see him in action or not.
Joao Felix who returned from injury to score the 89th-minute consolation goal is likely to feature in the forward line of the starting XI.
On the other hand, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has confirmed that the likes of Joelinton and Manquillo will miss the final league game owing to injury concerns. The English gaffer is expected to name an unchanged starting eleven to carry forward the momentum of being unbeaten for the last three games.
Predicted Starting XIs
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, Wesley Fofana, Trevoh Chalobah, Lewis Hall; Carney Cukwuemeka, Enzo Fernandez, Conor Gallagher; Jaoa Felix, Kai Havertz, Mykhailo Mudryk
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Nick Pope; Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, Dan Burn; Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Elliot Anderson; Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson, Alexander Isak
Newcastle’s urge to win this forthcoming game is bigger than their counterparts as it will create an outright chance for them to secure third position if United fail to win their last league fixture. The Magpies have the prediction aspects such as current form, league position and the previous encounter to strengthen their contention.
However, Chelsea’s home advantage and desire to put up a strong fightback in front of home fans for the one last time is hinting towards a draw outcome.