With a little help from the referees Chelsea climbed to the top of the standings, but the win over Reading won’t mean much if the Blues fail to get revenge on Newcastle for the 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge from last season.
Alan Pardew rested his key players in the Europa League clash with Atromitos, and after the win over Tottenham the Magpies hope to continue their impressive run against London sides.
Chelsea did well to recover from the Community Shield defeat to Manchester City, with the 2-0 win at DW Stadium hinting the Blues really mean business.
Roberto Di Matteo’s side were then expected to have an easy job against Reading, but that wasn’t the case as the Blues needed a little help from the referees to come from a goal behind and record a 4-2 victory.
Eden Hazard was once again their most influential player, creating two goals for his teammates and earning a penalty for his side.
The Belgian have yet to score in a Chelsea shirt, but that won’t be a problem as long as he continues creating goals for his teammates.
Having said that, the Stamford Bridge outfit are 1.53 (8/15) with Sportingbet to record their third consecutive Premier League victory.
Roberto Di Matteo is unlikely to make a lot of changes to the side that beat Reading in midweek, and after scoring six goals in first two games, the Blues are 1.57 (4/7) with Ladbrokes to score at least two against Newcastle.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Cech – Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole – Lampard, Mikel – Ramires, Mata, Hazard – Torres.
Despite keeping hold of all star players, Newcastle experienced major problems in pre-season, given that most of the key players missed some pre-season training for one reason or another.
That didn’t stop the Magpies from beating top 4 rivals Tottenham in their opening Premier League game, with usual suspects Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa proving match winners.
Newcastle have since shared spoils with Atromitos in Europa League play-off first leg, but given that most of the starters were rested in Greece, Alan Pardew’s troops should be well prepared for the Chelsea clash.
The Magpies may be the underdogs in this match but the situation was the same before the 2-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge last term, so odds of 6.80 (29/5) offered at 188BET on away win could be worth a shot.
Alan Pardew has fitness doubts over Fabricio Coloccini, Demba Ba and Cheikh Tiote, but Papiss Cisse should start despite playing almost 80 minutes on Thursday.
Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Krul – Simpson, Coloccini, S. Taylor, Santon – Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez – Cisse, Ba.