Rumours are already flying around over Newcastle’s potential January recruitment, though for the time being at least, they’ll have to cope with their current squad.
Graeme Jones is currently standing in as interim manager as the Magpies’ new owners seek a successor to Steve Bruce, and while a draw away at Palace isn’t a poor result, they’ll need to push on if they want to get anything here.
Chelsea came through another penalty shootout win in the League Cup in midweek, this time over Southampton, though in fairness Thomas Tuchel made numerous changes to his side and we’d expect a more accomplished performance this time round.
The Blues have lost just twice in all competitions this season, with those defeats coming to Man City and Juventus, so it’s hard to see Newcastle replicating that feat.
The question seems to be more over the margin of victory for Chelsea here, or whether or not they’ll manage to keep another clean sheet.
They’ve conceded just 16 goals in 28 league games under Tuchel now, which is even more impressive considering five came against the Baggies in one game last season.
They’ve conceded just three in nine this year, with two of those coming from the penalty spot, including their only away goal conceded.
Chelsea To Win And Under 3.5 Goals
With that said, Newcastle have recently been something of a bogey team for Chelsea, especially when the Blues travel north as the Magpies are an impressive W5-D1-L2 against the London giants on home soil over the last eight seasons.
The momentum seems to be slightly shifting back toward the visitors, however, as they’ve now won two of the last three such outings, winning five of the last six across all venues, and on current form it’s hard not to get the visitors onside.
While a lack of a recognised number nine didn’t seem to limit output in their last league game against the Canaries, a lot can be said about how poor Norwich were defensively on that day, while it proved slightly more of a hinderance in the League Cup in midweek and we’d expect Newcastle to be more capable at the back, especially on home soil.
Chelsea’s lack of output last season was the only cause for concern, if any, and without Romelu Lukaku in the side we’d expect prolificacy to revert back to last season’s standards, where they scored two or fewer in 29 of their 30 outings across all competitions under current management.
It’s therefore no surprise that 28 of those outings saw under 3.5 goals land, and that’s the exact outcome we’d expect here, giving some leeway in the event of a home goal.
CHELSEA TO WIN AND UNDER 3.5 GOALS