Chelsea pay Newcastle full respect with team selection
Chelsea rested a number of star players in midweek when they eventually managed a narrow 1-0 victory over Swansea.
They are taking no chances today against Newcastle though.
Eden Hazard comes back in and with Morata also up front they represent two massive dangers to the Magpies.
The excellent Azpilicueta also returns for Chelsea, with summer Drinkwater coming back into midfield alongside Fabregas and Kante.
It is tough for Newcastle in the middle of the pitch up against that lot, whilst Rafa Benitez has pulled a few more surprises out of the hat.
Jonjo Shelvey fails to return to the team after being ‘rested’ against West Brom, with Isaac Hayden also left out today.
Last season’s first choice centre midfield pair of Shelvey and Hayden are ignored in favour of Diame to partner Mikel Merino – a massive call by Rafa.
Javier Manquillo’s performances faded when playing out of position at left-back, Rafa hoping he will find better form in his proper right-back position as Yedlin is dropped.
After an amazing 12 games in a row in the starting eleven, Joselu at last makes way…Dwight Gayle playing the lone role.
Chelsea start with:
Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Alonso, Hazard, Morata
Caballero, Pedro, Batshuayi, Cahill, Willian, Zappacosta, Bakayoko
This is who Rafa Benitez starts with:
Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Lejeune, Mbemba, Ritchie, Merino, Diame, Murphy, Perez, Gayle
and the Subs:
Elliot, Yedlin, Shelvey, Hayden, Aarons, Mitrovic, Joselu
Interesting looking at the Newcastle bench, that must be the most attacking subs collection picked for some time, even Yedlin is better going forward.
Having said that, Chelsea’s bench looks half decent, with Pedro, Willian, Batshuayi…
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