Newcastle came out in a 5-2-3 with Almiron on the right-wing and Allan Saint-Maximin on the left. Chelsea, as expected, enjoyed most of the possession, but Newcastle were set up very well, and the Blues didn’t have many clear cut chances.
In the 12th minute, it was a very worrying sight as Jetro Willems went down with what looks to be a serious knee injury. The Dutchman had to be stretchered off with Matt Ritchie coming on as his replacement.
We really hope it’s just a strain or nothing serious. However, Jetro looked very concerned and pounded the pitch in frustration.
At the 20-minute mark, Newcastle enjoyed a bit of possession. Jonjo Shelvey got the ball to Federico Fernandez on the right who whipped in a terrific cross that Joelinton latched onto, but his header hit the crossbar. It was so close for the Brazilian.
Chelsea had a couple of chances in the 33rd minute with N’Golo Kante being sent through one on one with Dubravka, but the Slovakian made the stop on Kante’s shot. On the rebound, the ball was delivered back into the box, but Martin Dubravka bravely claimed it as Kante closed in on him.
Newcastle have defended very well and are dominant in the air. Joelinton and Almiron are offering a threat while Allan Saint-Maximin has had a few decent runs.
However, the lads need to keep hold of the ball and stop needlessly giving it away. Chelsea haven’t been anywhere near their best despite having over 70% possession.
This game is there for the taking but we expect Chelsea to be an improved team in the second half. Newcastle will need to match that and not be so sloppy with the ball.