BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has given his predictions for this weekend’s Premier League matches. He has Newcastle losing 2-0 at home to Chelsea. No surprise there.
Here is some of Lawro’s write-up of the match:
Newcastle will be awkward, perhaps even more so than usual, after their non-performance in their defeat at Southampton last time out. Magpies boss Steve Bruce will try to make them much tighter, and they will have to be to keep Chelsea out.
Frank Lampard’s side were just hitting their stride before the international break, especially in attack – they created so many chances in their win over Sheffield United.
Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz are out of this game but that would still allow the Blues to name pretty much the same team that beat the Blades. At the back, Thiago Silva is a doubt because he has only just got back from international duty, but I’d still expect Chelsea to win comfortably.
Awkward is a strange word to describe Newcastle’s display at Southampton. That performance was a calamity after two excellent results at Wolves and against Everton. The fact that this team cannot remain consistent is very frustrating.
The coaching staff and players need to put in a competent display Saturday. A result is very unlikely against this Chelsea side who have won their last four in all competitions and not lost since September.
Chelsea, as generally is the case, will be able to field a very strong team despite a few missing players. Christian Pulisic and Thiago Silva are almost certain to miss Saturday’s match.
The latest we’ve heard is that the outstanding young German Kai Havertz has a chance for tomorrow. Frank Lampard confirmed during his press conference the 21-year-old is back training after a period of self-isolation due to Covid-19.
As for Newcastle, we’ll have to get an injury update from Steve Bruce as to who will be available. Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie are back in training though tomorrow is likely too soon.
That is probably also the case for Callum Wilson, who suffered his hamstring injury two weeks ago. Then there’s Dwight Gayle, Martin Dubravka, Ryan Fraser, and Paul Dummett who won’t be available.
Tomorrow is about a reaction more than a result. The following four fixtures are where we desperately need to pick up points. Hopefully, we can put in a competent performance against the Blues with what will likely be a makeshift team.
Maybe we can even perform another smash and grab miracle like in this fixture last year.