The Blues are preparing for their second league game of 2019 against a struggling Toon side at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea are in the midst of a very busy period both on and off the pitch, but return to Premier League action after a week of cup football.
Nottingham Forest were beaten 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in last weekend’s FA Cup clash, which followed a disappointing 0-0 New Year draw with Southampton in the league.
The Blues were then unlucky to lose at Wembley, as rivals Tottenham managed to hold onto a 1-0 win in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. Meanwhile, Newcastle are very much in a relegation battle as their form took a dip over the festive period.
It is hard to talk about Chelsea’s preparations for their game against Newcastle without talking about the transfer market, as the club looks set to be the busiest of the ‘big six’ in the January window.
Alvaro Morata missed The Blues’ midweek game against Spurs with a ‘minor hamstring injury’ but his future is in significant doubt, with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla interested in him.
Cesc Fabregas is close to joining Monaco and may be left out, while Gary Cahill is also in talks over a move to Fulham and has missed several recent match day squads.
The good news is that a host of injured players returned in the Carabao Cup match on Tuesday, including Willian, Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Mateo Kovacic.
Callum Hudson-Odoi returned from a hamstring injury last weekend to face Nottingham Forest and will continue to be used as Chelsea try to resist a move to Bayern Munich, who have recently made a £35 million offer.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be out for an extended period of time with a back injury, coming off in the 2-0 FA Cup win over Forest.
Neither Chelsea nor Newcastle have any suspensions to contend with ahead of Saturday’s match.
Chelsea Potential Starting Line-Up
Chelsea played a full strength team in their midweek clash against Tottenham, as Eden Hazard operated as a ‘false 9’ with Hudson-Odoi and Willian flanking him in the wide positions.
They are likely to line up as strong as possible against Newcaslte and that could see Hazard continue playing down the middle.
Sarri could make further rotations after a busy fixture period, but he has so far kept those changes to a minimum in his time as Chelsea boss; Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso and N’Golo Kante have started every league match this season.
Mateo Kovacic and Pedro could start after returning from sickness and injury respectively.
Newcastle Team News
Newcaslte will be without Chelsea loanee Kenedy due to the terms of his loan deal. They are also without both Yoshinori Muto and Ki Sung-yueng who have been called up by Japan and South Korea for the Asian Cup.
Federico Fernández and Mohamed Diamé are doubts as they carry minor hip injuries.
TV channel & kick-off time
The match at Stamford Bridge kicks off at 5:30pm GMT (12:30pm ET) on Saturday and will be shown on BT Sport in the UK.
Best Opta Match Facts
Chelsea have failed to score in their last two Premier League home games. They haven’t gone three without a goal in the top-flight since November 1993 under Glenn Hoddle.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has won just one of his 14 away matches against Chelsea in all competitions (D4 L9), a 1-0 victory with Liverpool in the Premier League in October 2008.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has scored six goals and assisted one in five Premier League appearances at Stamford Bridge against Newcastle.
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Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has scored more Premier League goals against Newcastle than he has against any other side in the competition (8). However, those eight goals all came in his first six games against them, with the Frenchman failing to score in his last five against the Magpies.
Salomon Rondon has scored each of Newcastle’s last three away games in the Premier League.