Newcastle v Chelsea
Premier League - Sunday, May 13th, 3.00 pm BST
Chelsea travels to Newcastle United for a must-win match if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The Blues need three points and hope that Liverpool slip up against Brighton at Anfield; not just a draw but lose to the Seagulls. The Reds hold a +15 advantage in goal difference over Antonio Conte’s men which is worth an extra point.
It won’t be easy; Chelsea hasn’t won at St James Park since 2011 (D1, L3). This is a traditionally high-scoring fixture with the last sixteen seeing at least two goals; ten of those matches featured over 2.5 goals.
To make their task a little harder as far as the history books are concerned, the away side hasn’t won this match since Newcastle’s 2 – 0 win at Stamford Bridge in May 2012; the home side has won nine with one drawn since that match.
Newcastle come into the match in woeful form; four defeats, all by a single goal, crushed a four-match winning streak. Disturbingly for Magpies boss Rafa Benitez, Newcastle failed to score in three of their most recent four games. All those matches were lost 1 – 0.
At home, West Brom won last time out, ending a seven-match unbeaten run at St James Park (W4, D3) but defensively, Newcastle have been difficult to breach all season. Only Tottenham, Watford, and Leicester scored more than one goal so far with of the last five seeing the Magpies keep a clean sheet.
Against the top seven, they have a good record winning and drawing two of their six matches so far.
Atsu, Clark, and Gamez are out due to injury while Islam Slimani’s loan spell is over thanks to suspension. Newcastle are unlikely to take their interest in the Leicester striker any further. Kenedy cannot play due to the Premier League’s archaic rules about loaned players not facing their parent clubs.
It’s been a difficult second season in charge for Antonio Conte with a misfiring forward line a major problem.
Five defeats in seven during February and March has left them struggling to reach the top four. While they won’t give up, it seems unlikely that the results they need in this game and elsewhere will come to lift. They are, however, in some form with six unbeaten (W4, D2) but not many goals. The last three all saw under 2.5 goals.
On the road, they are unbeaten in three (W3) with six of the last eight seeing over 2.5 goals with four featuring over 3.5 goals.
Ethan Ampadu and David Luiz are out for Chelsea while Thibault Courtois is unlikely to feature to allow a full recovery for next weekend’s FA Cup final. Willy Caballero will continue to deputise.
While Chelsea appears vulnerable, Newcastle’s attack lacks real penetration. It’s an issue Rafa Benitez will address in the summer but is likely to hold the Magpies back this afternoon. If they can get at the Chelsea defence then Willy Caballero is vulnerable in goal and prone to gaffes.
Correct Score Betting Tip, Newcastle 0 - Chelsea 3 @ odds of 13.00
Match Winner and Over / Under Goals Betting Tip, Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals @ odds of 2.30
Both teams to score Betting Tip, No @ odds of 2.00
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