Newcastle United vs Chelsea Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

A depleted Newcastle United resume their Premier League campaign as they welcome an in-form Chelsea side to St. James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.

Before the international break, it looked like Newcastle United and Chelsea were trending in opposite directions. So, Saturday’s St. James’ Park encounter has the makings of an intriguing clash.

Currently sitting in mid-table, Chelsea started this Premier League campaign as a continuation of last season’s debacle, as their massively expensively assembled squad looked set to be heading for more mediocrity.

However, Chelsea have only lost once in their last eight games but seem to have regained confidence, particularly from that crazy 4-1 triumph at Spurs. The Blues then went toe-to-toe with treble winners Manchester City prior to the international break and in an even more entertaining 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge, where they showed real grit to keep the Premier League leaders at bay.

As for seventh-placed Newcastle United, it has been a frustrating season for the Toon Army, who have displayed flashes of brilliance but have lacked consistency due to unprecedented circumstances. They have produced some excellent displays and results, like beating Arsenal in the league, Manchester City and Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, and PSG at home in the Champions League.

However, they went into the international break with back-to-back 2-0 defeats, first to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League then Bournemouth in the Premier League. With Newcastle sitting at the top of the Premier League injury table, Eddie Howe has lost a slew of players to injury and suspension over recent weeks.

The toll was eventually telling in a comprehensive 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth ahead of the November international break, with the Magpies lacking in all departments at the Vitality Stadium. Newcastle now head into a crunch run of fixtures in the Premier League, Europe, and on the domestic front, desperate to bounce back in this clash.

The hosts came out on top when these sides met at St. James’ Park just over a year ago, thanks to Joe Willock’s wonderful long-range finish. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of this exciting fixture in the Premier League on Saturday.

Team News and Tactics

Newcastle United

Newcastle United are facing a staggering injury crisis ahead of Chelsea’s visit on Saturday. Influential captain Kieran Trippier withdrew from the England squad due to a “personal matter” but is expected to start here at St. James’ Park.

Eddie Howe could be without as many as 11 players for Saturday’s clash. Striker Callum Wilson looks set to miss a number of weeks with a thigh issue. Also ruled out here are Harvey Barnes, Sven Botman, Jacob Murphy, Matt Targett, and Dan Burn, all of whom could be out until 2024, while forgotten man Javier Manquillo has no return date in sight.

Lewis Hall, who is on loan from Chelsea, is ineligible to play against his parent club here. Newcastle’s midfield has also been decimated. Sandro Tonali is serving a 10-month suspension from football due to committing betting offences before arriving from AC Milan and will not be available until August 2024.

Elliot Anderson will not be seen for at least a month, while Sean Longstaff is doubtful about Chelsea’s visit. Bruno Guimaraes has served a one-game ban for picking up five yellow cards. So, he is available and could slot alongside Sean Longstaff and Joelinton in the midfield three. Lewis Miley performed admirably against the Cherries last time out but may have to settle for a spot on the bench for this one.

There is some good news for Newcastle supporters, though. Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak are both expected to be fit for this match. This is an excellent double boost for Eddie Howe with regards to his attack, as star winger Anthony Gordon will not be required to again deputise in a false nine role that failed on the south coast.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Pope; Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Livramento; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Isak, Gordon


Chelsea are not without injury issues of their own. But things appear to be improving in the treatment room for head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who hopes to welcome back new signings Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia to potentially make their debuts this weekend.

Levi Colwill and Malo Gusto are also expected to be available, with both withdrawing from international duty due to respective shoulder and knee problems with England and France’s Under-21s. Reece James also opted against joining Gareth Southgate’s squad to further his recovery from a recurring hamstring problem and could start from the outset here.

The Blues’ list of absentees includes Trevoh Chalobah, Wesley Fofana, Carney Chukwuemeka, and Ben Chilwell. Pochettino could look to field the same XI that battled to an impressive draw against Manchester City a fortnight ago.

Boasting six direct goal involvements (4G, 2A) over his last five Premier League appearances, Cole Palmer is in a rich vein of form and netted an injury-time penalty for Chelsea in a dramatic showdown before the break. The former Manchester City winger will line up alongside Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson in the visitors’ attack.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Sanchez; James, Disasi, Silva, Cucurella; Caicedo, Fernandez, Gallagher; Palmer, Jackson, Sterling

Key Stats

  • Newcastle United have won each of their last four Premier League home games without reply, beating three London clubs – Brentford, Crystal Palace, and Arsenal, along the way.
  • The last two matches between Newcastle and Chelsea have seen both teams get on the score sheet.
  • Chelsea have scored at least two goals in five of their last six Premier League matches.
  • The visitors have only lost one of their last eight games across all competitions, scoring 20 goals during that period.

Player to Watch

Raheem Sterling

Embed from Getty Images

There is absolutely no denying that Sterling made a somewhat subdued start to his Chelsea career after his high-profile move from Manchester City in the summer of 2022. But he is showing all the signs that he is fit and firing at the absolute peak of his powers.

Having scored four goals for Chelsea this season, his electric display in the 4-4 draw with Manchester City just before the international break made a complete mockery of his England exile.

With Gareth Southgate saying the door remains open, expect the 82-time-capped England international to deliver stellar performances between now and the end of the season to force his way back into the reckoning for the Euro 2024 finals.


Newcastle United 2-2 Chelsea

Chelsea will head into this one brimming with confidence after entertaining encounters with Tottenham and Manchester City before the break. Despite being in poor form, Newcastle United remain in strong home form and ended Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the season in their last match at St. James’ Park.

Add to it the major injuries and international break jetlag in both camps and it is very hard to predict which version of them will turn up this season. So, there is a good chance the game could end in an entertaining stalemate draw, just as Chelsea managed with Manchester City.

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