After a difficult festive period, the Blues are seeking to get back on track against Rafael Benitez’s boys at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea host Newcastle on Saturday with the aim of consolidating their position in the top four of the Premier League standings .
Maurizio Sarri’s men are coming off the back of a difficult festive period in which they won two, drew one and lost one of four league outings, and though they beat Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last weekend, they subsequently went down 1-0 to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
They face a Newcastle side struggling at the wrong end of the table and who were held 1-1 by Championship side Blackburn in the FA Cup last weekend.
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport 1 and streamed via BT Sport Live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Kepa, Caballero, Green|
|Defenders||Rudiger, Alonso, Moses, Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Emerson, Ampadu|
|Midfielders||Kante, Drinkwater, Barkley, Jorginho, Kovacic|
|Forwards||Morata, Hazard, Pedro, Giroud, Willian, Hudson-Odoi|
Chelsea starting XI: Arrizabalga, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Pedro, Hazard.
|Goalkeepers||Dubravka, Elliot, Darlow, Woodman|
|Defenders||Clark, Dummett, Lascelles, Manquillo, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Lejeune, Lazaar|
|Midfielders||Murphy, Shelvey, Diame, Ritchie, Atsu, Hayden|
|Forwards||Perez, Joselu, Rondon|
Newcastle starting XI: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Clark; Ritchie, Atsu, Longstaf, Hayden; Perez, Rondon.
Chelsea are considered to be firm favourites to emerge victorious, with bet365 pricing them at 2/9 to take all three points. Newcastle are considered to be 14/1 shots, with a draw available at 6/1.
Chelsea are presently in the most difficult period of Maurizio Sarri’s tenure to date.
Since beating Bournemouth 1-0 in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on December 19 , they have struggled to keep the pace in the Premier League, and while they have recorded wins at Watford and Crystal Palace, twice they have spilled points at Stamford Bridge.
Indeed, they head into Saturday’s home fixture against Newcastle under threat of becoming the first Blues side to fail to score in three successive top-flight fixtures since 1993. Far more was expected from matches against Leicester and Southampton.
Also in the team on Tuesday was young sensation Callum Hudson-Odoi, whose presence at Stamford Bridge remains threatened by repeat bids from a Bayern Munich side desperate to get their hands on the young Englishman.
With Chelsea still struggling for goals, despite a double from Alvaro Morata in the 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest last weekend, it is little wonder that there has been a clamour for him to stay and play more matches.
The Blues’ problems are relative, however. Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle have been feeble offensively this season, with only Huddersfield having found the net on fewer occasions in the Premier League.
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Consequently, it is little surprise to see the Magpies hovering just above the relegation zone with only four wins to their name.
Recent encounters against Manchester United and Liverpool have yielded no joy for the Tyneside club, who will realistically be targeting next weekend’s home match against Cardiff as a must-win encounter.
If they came away with anything from Stamford Bridge, it would have to be seen as a bonus.