Most pundits are going for a Chelsea win at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
But Rafa will be doing his very best to try to get something out of a game against a club he once managed and at least one pundit – BBC’s Mark Lawrenson things we can get a point.
Rafa was the interim manager at Chelsea from November 21, 2012, through the end of that season after the Blues had sacked Roberto Di Matteo.
That didn’t stop Rafa winning the Europa League in May 2013 and a third-place finish in the Premier League and therefore an entry into the Champions League group stage for the next season.
Given what Rafa did in the short time he was at the Blues you wouldn’t think the Chelsea fans would boo him whenever he visits Stamford Bridge – but they do.
BBC Pundit – Mark Lawrenson
This is what Mark has said about the game on Sunday:
“Newcastle have been unlucky this season. They got nothing from a good performance against Tottenham and should have beaten Cardiff when down to 10 men, with Kenedy missing an injury-time penalty.”
“Rafael Benitez is very successful at setting his team up to be difficult to beat at home to the Premier League superpowers.”
“Chelsea look more bright and adventurous than they did under Antonio Conte, but they do have some defensive blips.”
“Maurizio Sarri has them playing a pressing game and when that breaks down is when the opposition have the space to create chances.”
We’ll be happy enough to get anything out of this game – but a win would be terrific.