Fresh from the news that Chelsea’s Carabao Cupquarter-final will see them meet Brentford in a West London derby, Thomas Tuchel takes his side to Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.
With both Liverpool and Manchester City having to navigate what look like potentially tricky afternoons at home to Brighton and Crystal Palace respectively, the visit to Tyneside offers a real opportunity for Chelsea.
Although Newcastle have recently entered a world the European champions are well-versed in when it comes to off the field finance, life on the pitch has been miserable for those in black and white so far this season. Indeed, only Norwich City have conceded more often than Newcastle and, last week, Chelsea certainly proved what they could do to such a leaky backline.
Tottenham Hotspur, of course, recently discovered that although the St James’ Park crowd will be raucous, the team itself has a soft centre once the initial buzz has died down, so Chelsea can be reasonably confident heading into this one even with their somewhat patchy record against Newcastle in mind
Early Chelsea team news
Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are back after missing the midweek win over Southampton.
But Mateo Kovacic will miss the game after injuring his hamstring during training.
Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic are all missing too
Newcastle: Darlow, Ritchie, Clark, Lascelles, Krafth, Manquillo, Fraser, Longstaff, Hayden, Saint-Maximin, Wilson.
Chelsea: Mendy, James, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, Chilwell, Jorginho, Kante, Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Ziyech.
Injury list: Kovacic, Pulisic, Werner, Lukaku
Date: Saturday, October 30, 3pm
Venue: St. James’ Park
Referee: Paul Tierney
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