Chelsea boss Guss Hiddink keen on a huge improvement in performance when his team host Newcastle United on Saturday’s Premier League clash.
Chelsea are unbeaten since the managerial change, but a meagre 15 points from 9 matches are doing them no favour in their quest to climb up to the top half of the league table.
Newcastle on the other hand are 17th in the table, just a point separates them from the relegation zone. They were one of the most active teams in the winter transfer market and as a result there are slight improvements in result as compared to the first half of the season.
Chelsea vs Newcastle : Form Comparison
Chelsea have only win to show in the last five Premier League matches. While they have also drawn all of their last four home matches meaning Guss Hiddink is yet to taste a win at Stamford Bridge in his second spell at the club.
Newcastle United have grabbed two valuable wins in their last five matches, both coming at their home ground. But their away form is alarming as they have lost all of their last five away matches.
Chelsea vs Newcastle : Head-to-Head Stats
Chelsea boast of a healthy record at Stamford Bridge while playing against Newcastle United. The Blues have won in the last three home games in Premier League against Newcastle and that too by keeping a clean sheet.
The reverse fixture of the same match this season ended in a 2- 2 draw. Also Saint James Park is not a happy hunting ground for the Blues after having failed to win in their last four visits.
Chelsea : Team News
Kurt Zouma is the latest to join Chelsea’s injury list after suffering a broken leg during the clash against Manchester United last week. The young defender is ruled out for atleast six months and in his absence Gary Cahil is expected to partner captain John Terry at the center of the defense.
Strikers Falcao and Loic Remy are still sidelined while new arrival Pato is deemed unfit. It would be interesting to see if Hiddink stick with Oscar or give Hazard a start on Saturday evening.
Chelsea: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Courtois – Azpilicueta, Terry, Zouma, Ivanovic – Matic, Fabregas – Willian, Hazard, Oscar – Costa.
Newcastle United: Team News
Newcastle united have a long list of absentees with 15 players out either through suspension or injuries.
Steve McLaren is expected to use the similar line-up who started in the 1-0 win over West Brom last weekend.
Newcastle United: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Elliot – Janmaat, Taylor, Coloccini, Aarons – Shelvey, Tiote – Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Townsend – Mitrovic.
Chelsea vs Newcastle : Prediction
Both teams want to win this tie and so this fixture is extremely important for both sides.
Chelsea look like an improved team under Guss Hiddink in the recent weeks, but are yet to perform at the top of their potential. And they have only won 3 out of 12 home games this season.
Newcastle on the other hand are extremely poor away from home and have a poor record at Stamford Bridge in last three seasons. Moreover, the team is struggling with injuries to a number of first team players.
Despite their poor home record in recent weeks, I strongly believe the Blues have got what it takes to edge this one. My prediction is 2-1 in favour of Chelsea.
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