Charlie Nicholas has a simple message ahead of Sunday.

Talking about Rafa Benitez taking his team to Stamford Bridge, the Sky Sports pundit states ‘Newcastle United want out of this competition’.

Nicholas points to the Premier League match only three days afterwards at St James Park, when Burnley are the visitors.

In contrast to the home team, Sean Dyche’s players will have had 11 days rest since losing 1-0 at home to Manchester United.

Their FA Cup dream having ended at the first hurdle, hammered 4-1 by Manchester City.

Charlie Nicholas predicts a ‘relatively comfortable afternoon for Chelsea, especially if both Morata and Fabregas are fit to return.

Chelsea also play three days after the Newcastle match, they have Bournemouth at home and are involved in a fight for Champions League qualification.

With League Cup defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday night, the FA Cup represents surely Chelsea’s only possible chance of winning something this season.

From Newcastle United’s perspective, this season has arguably shown that with the exception of Jamaal Lascelles, there is very little difference in quality between Newcastle’s best 18 or so players.

So unless Rafa played an entire second choice team, it is difficult to claim that any side he puts out will be significantly weaker than his first team.

Norwich only conceded one goal in over three and a half hours of FA Cup football against Chelsea.

The last six games in all competitions have seen Chelsea score two goals in total in five of them, as well as last weekend’s four goal win at Brighton, when they carried a lot of luck.

Willian was man of the match at Brighton but limped off on Wednesday with a hamstring problem, so whilst Antonio Conte clearly has a better level of player than Rafa Benitez, it will be interesting to see just how many of his match winners start the game. Goalkeeper Courtois is another who is currently out injured.

As for whether Rafa Benitez wants out of this competition, who knows. If Newcastle did get through then at least the fifth round weekend would see a clear week before and after the game, allowing him to play whatever team he wants without fear of affecting fitness for Premier League matches.

As you can see from the odds below, rather than the massive 22/1 odds they were to win at Manchester City, Newcastle are ‘only’ 6/1 to win on Saturday, so can NUFC confound the ‘experts’?

Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports:

“I think Chelsea will enjoy a relatively comfortable afternoon.

“Especially if Alvaro Morata and Cesc Fabregas are available again.

“Newcastle United want out of this competition with the issues they have in the Premier League.

“Epecially with a crucial home game against Burnley to come on Wednesday night.

“Prediction is Chelsea 2 Newcastle 0 and Pedro to score first goal.”

Chelsea v Newcastle Match Betting:

Chelsea win 4/9Draw 7/2Newcastle win 6/1

NUFC win 2-0 50/1NUFC lead at half-time 11/2NUFC to score 2 or more goals 14/5

All Chelsea v Newcastle betting HERE

New customers to BetVictor qualify for up to a £40 welcome bonus in free bets.

  • Dillon Tovak

    There is surely no such thing as a team wanting out. Even if you had no intention of compromising your league status it’s great experience for youth and reserve players is it not?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      we have a habit of early exits in the Cups,
      it happens to often to be accidental or bad luck

      • Dillon Tovak

        Yeah I understand as a club policy, but surely the manager wants to win even he plays no first teamers?

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          Rafa always wants to win, he just hasn`t got the players to do the job

          • Mitros gotta start

            Rafa always wants to draw, he just hasn’t got the players to do the job

            There, i fixed it for you.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose


        • Wor Lass

          Can you imagine Conte`s reaction if anyone suggested he didn`t want to win a game? I just hope Hazard has a leg drop off or something before the match. We could maybe be in with a chance then.

          • Peaky Magpie

            Think Conte will be going all out to win the FA cup as I think he’ll be off at the end of the season.

  • Bowlsey

    Rafa won’t want out and neither will the players. Stupid comment by Charlie Nicholas. “Chelsea will be up for it because it represents their last chance of winning some silverware this season.” Couldn’t you make the same point about any number of clubs?!

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    A certain rotund “Alleged” gentleman who shall remain nameless also wants us to have an early exit from the cup, In fact he wants this every season lol

    • Mark Potter

      Why? A game against big opposition and televised brings in extra money to the club. It makes no sense for the owner to not want the team to compete in every competition. The manager wants to compete, he showed that when playing his strongest team in the 3rd round. Why would he throw the towel in now? In one-off cup games anything can happen, league position stands for little, otherwise four of the top six PL clubs would be in the semis every season.

  • Wor Lass

    All teams benefit from winning games so no manager sets his team up to go out of cups but they do prioritise league survival – so certain key players might be saved. It`s hair-splitting, I know, but there is a difference. Rafa will probably feel that we could have done without this game but that`s just a matter of timing. He will still be pleased by a win and the players that run out will be doing their best to supply it. Chelsea have looked vulnerable lately – apart from Hazard, of course!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Fatso will be there on Sunday with his Nufc tie on, but he`ll be cheering on Chelsea
      i wont mention signing a striker as Leazes will call me a moron AGAIN

      • Wor Lass

        Tell him to pay his taxes!

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          I`ve got a better idea, You tell him

          • Wor Lass

            Ha ha – I was in enough trouble for asking him if he`d heard of youtube! Maybe peaky could pass it on?

          • Peaky Magpie

            Will do when I get a minute 😁

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            No you won`t

          • Peaky Magpie

            He gave me a lesson awhile back as to why lemmings jump off cliffs ??? 😂😂

          • Peaky Magpie

            See my reply to Moose below 😂

  • Mrkgw

    Nicholas seldom has a good word to say about Newcastle. His opinion therefore, is to be expected.

    • Peaky Magpie

      …….and on the whole ignored.

  • Wor Lass

    So Burnley were “… hammered 4-1 by Manchester City.” while we had a plucky, narrow 3-1 defeat last week.

  • Peaky Magpie

    Winning breeds winning breeds confidence.
    F**k off Charlie.

  • hetonmag

    Don’t like Nicholas he’s always had a downer on us just like most of the so called pundits, for what it’s worth I think we have a chance provided Hazard isn’t playing because everything goes through him, Willian is injured and Barkley looked way off the pace last night.

    • Davey drape

      He used to love the Tuxedo Royale Boat

    • PhilK

      So have they all. Only Phil Thompson has not had petty digs at Newcastle

  • Soldier

    Burnley`s another must win game, aren`t they all. go down to them at home and we`ll be staring relegation in the face with the fixtures we have left. Rafa is in the same position now as he was 2 years ago but with a weaker squad, all this waffle about hard work etc cannot compensate for the lack of quality. he couldn`t save us 2 years ago, can he save us now. without a new striker i doubt it

    • Peaky Magpie

      And yet another day goes by without that ‘new striker’….The Fatlad will just be ticking the hours off now until that window slams shut in our face.

      • TheNutJob

        Nee transfer news Peaky, well maybe tomorrow

        • Peaky Magpie

          Sweet F.A. Just been reading Ronnie online and saw there’d been a shooting in Newcastle…..for one minute I just thought has Nut & Moose taken out The Fat Lad…but alas no……🤣

          • TheNutJob

            not me, The Moose would though

          • Peaky Magpie


  • I would definitely give Heardman a chance to lead the attack with Murphy and Aaron on the wings and also feature Saivet and Merino if they are available with Woodman in goal. I would also bring Haidara and Manquillo as fullbacks.This team cannot be considered weak by all means. I feel a lot of footballers here still have something to prove. I expect us to actually take on Chelsea which without Hazard would really be struggling right now.

  • Desree

    What is Mike Ashleys plan? If we don’t sign players in Jan, the club will be relegated.

    That means a massive loss in revenue, players on PL wages and no Rafa.

    So why is he trying to placate the fans when that is the least of his problems.

    Face the music mate, it is your asset that is about to plummet in value.

    Is he a sociopath?

    • Blackburn1066

      He will still have 52.000 in the ground even if we go down, even with no rafa, no new striker. 52.000 reasons he does not give a F-CK.

    • Big Al 1967

      Quite simple; he is and always has been a gambler. He is gambling with the future of the club and treating it as a plaything. He will be happy if we finished fourth bottom on goal difference as he will see this as success and that his way is right

  • thewildchimp

    No, they won’t have “a comfortable afternoon”. It’s hard to attack when the opposition has 10 behind the ball…

  • TheNutJob

    Nee striker news lads, oh well back to the pit

  • ghostrider

    Chelsea are in disarray.
    They are turning on their manager and that’s just the players and the hierarchy, it seems.
    They won’t put out a super strong side, I don’t think, because they will expect us to just sit back and allow them to play pepper the 10 man defence.
    However, we just might have a real go this time.
    Another case of a team getting to a final and then getting relegated.
    Hopefully not….BUT.

  • MadMag83

    We won’t beat Burnley anyway, so might as well have a go at a hopefully depleted Chelsea.