Two of the Premier League’s most popular sides will face-off against one another on Sunday as the Blues of Chelsea head north to take on Newcastle United.
It has been a promising transition period for Maurizio Sarri as the new head coach of Chelsea, and he’s had a great start to his Premier League career. Chelsea has won both of their first two matches, and after a hard-fought battle last week vs. Arsenal, many fans and pundits think a top-four spot is there for the taking. They’ve looked fairly solid in defense and Sarri’s style is already ahead of schedule by the looks of things.
Conversely, it hasn’t been a promising beginning for Newcastle. This remains one of the premier clubs in the country, but has fallen on some hard times. They don’t commit enough money to the club and as a result talented manager Rafa Benitez doesn’t have all that much to work with. It’s believed that Benitez might look to leave the club when possible, and as a result the team is in disarray. They lost their home opener in week one, and after an underwhelming draw last week to lowly Cardiff City, Newcastle is already looking to be mired in yet another relegation battle.
With Newcastle already desperate, it should make for quite the atmosphere at St. James Park this weekend. Chelsea are riding a lot of confidence at the moment, and it’ll be interesting to see if Sarri’s club can keep their momentum going away from home. Read on below the odds for a more detailed match breakdown and an official betting selection for Chelsea vs. Newcastle.
Newcastle vs. Chelsea Betting Odds:
Newcastle United (+380)
Over 2.5 (-111)
Under 2.5 (-109)
Newcastle vs. Chelsea Pick:
Expect Chelsea to keep rolling on Sunday in Newcastle. Maurizio Sarri has a great handle on his club at the moment, and the team has taken an immediate liking to his playing style and tactics. New boy Jorginho has been essential in the midfield, and look for him to again play a key role in controlling the center of the pitch and dictating how the game is played.
Making matters even worse for Newcastle is that it’s believed the Eden Hazard will be healthy enough to make his first start of the season this Sunday. The Belgian midfielder remains an electric talent and pairing him with Jorginho should form an elite tandem. Newcastle United simply won’t have an answer for this, and I wouldn’t expect them to possess the ball more than 35% of the match.
Newcastle have some roster concerns as well entering this match. Robert Kenedy, the Brazilian winger on loan is ineligible to play as he’s facing his parent-club Chelsea. Kenedy is immensely talented and creative, but his absence should only make creating offense that much more difficult for Newcastle. They’ll also be without Isaac Hayden as he was suspended for a red card last week in Cardiff.
Chelsea are easily the more talented side, and look to be the healthier and more in-form side this weekend. Newcastle don’t have enough up front to trouble a stout Chelsea defense, and Sarri’s heavy-pressing tactics and style should put a lot of pressure on the Magpies’ backline. With Hazard, Jorginho, and N’Golo Kante patrolling the midfield, that’s about as good as it gets in club football, and I think that trio will control the match and work to provide excellent service up top to Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard found the back of the net last week, and it’s about time he showcases his extreme talent.
Though Newcastle are desperate and will be urged on by a rowdy home crowd, the talent disparity at the moment is undeniable. The EPL can be awfully unpredictable and shockers are the norm at times, but heading into Matchday Three, Chelsea looks like one of the best clubs in Europe, and I’d expect them to exert their will on Newcastle come Sunday afternoon.
PICK = Chelsea (-149)