June 20, 2024

Looking at this Newcastle team v Chelsea.

Eddie Howe and his players aiming to finish the season in style.

Champions League football and a top four place already guaranteed, hopefully a victory at Stamford Bridge and potentially then third place in the final PL table.

So what can we expect the Newcastle team v Chelsea to be?

As a starting point…

This was the Newcastle team v Leicester:

Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Bruno, Longstaff, Anderson, Almiron, Wilson, Isak

On Monday of course, Eddie Howe was going to play Joelinton but was forced into a late change, Elliot Anderson starting instead.

Ahead of this match at Stamford Bridge, it has become apparent that we can rule eight Newcastle United players out of the starting eleven and indeed the matchday squad.

Joelinton, Joe Willock, Javier Manquillo, Jamaal Lascelles, Nick Pope, Emil Krafth, Matt Ritchie and Ryan Fraser won’t be involved against Chelsea.

Always the chance of one or more other injuries Eddie Howe hasn’t let on about but those eight are the definite absences.

Eight sounds a lot but in reality, Willock and Joelinton would have been the only two expected to be bothering the outfield starting eleven places, though naturally a blow as well that Nick Pope will be unavailable in goal.

At least one change will be made, as sadly Nick Pope will be unable to make it a full set of 38 PL starts this season, having had surgery on his finger this week.

Rather bizarrely, I have seen some people predicting Loris Karius will come in for a start.

It will be Martin Dubravka for sure, as he has been on the bench week in week out after returning in January from his ill-fated loan spell at Man U.

A first clean sheet in ten PL games against Leicester for the defence and Eddie Howe will be looking for the same players at the back to do the same today. Leicester didn’t even try and cross the halfway line and hopefully Newcastle can restrict Chelsea to very few chances today.

Trippier, Schar, Botman and Burn have been outstanding this season and as things stand, Newcastle and Man City tied on the best defensive record having conceded 32 PL goals each, Man U next best with 42 conceded.

Despite top four and Champions League football already done, I don’t expect any sentimentality from Eddie Howe in terms of his starting eleven, he will be going all out to end the season with yet another win. It would be a ninth on the road this season and see Newcastle climb to third if Man U didn’t win against Fulham.

Howe will almost certainly use all five subs today in terms of getting as many players involved as possible in this last game of the campaign. However, for the vast majority of the game it will be only tactical or if an injury, with the other subs left very late when the result likely to have been all but decided either way.

The fact there has been six days recovery (Chelsea only three) since the last game, will also help give Eddie Howe confidence in playing his best available players without considering any of them too much of a risk, if having come out of the Leicester game fatigued or with a knock.

Bruno will of course be the main man in the midfield and Geordie boys Longstaff and Anderson in there to help him, in my opinion.

If Newcastle had needed a point to make sure of top four, then maybe a possibility of the Head Coach putting Isak or Wilson on the bench, but that isn’t the case and I see both starting for sure.

Almiron to complete this team. The Paraguayan played well on Monday and was unlucky to see what would have been his 12th goal of the season instead come back off the woodwork.

So my predicted Newcastle team v Chelsea:

Dubravka, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Bruno, Longstaff, Anderson, Almiron, Wilson, Isak

So one change in my predicted team, with Dubravka to come in for Pope.

 

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