Michael Owen has been looking ahead to Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
Yet another game in this tough Premier League schedule where all the stats and logic are stacked against Newcastle United.
The last time Newcastle avoided defeat at Stamford Bridge was back in 2012, those two spectacular Papiss Cisse goals helping NUFC to fifth that season.
However, the last time before that when the Magpies won in the league in West London, was 33 years ago.
A massive top tier 14,544 Chelsea crowd (including thousands of Newcastle fans…) saw a 3-1 away win on 22 November 1986, Peter Beardsley and Andy Thomas (2) getting the goals.
Oh for a Peter Beardsley these days…
For Chelsea these days, a crisis is dropping from what looked like being title contenders under the new manager in the opening months of this season, into now nervously looking over their shoulders in fourth spot, as they look to protect the all important Champions League spot as the top three pull away.
This past week has already seen them lay out some £60m on Christian Pulisic, whilst Mike Ashley is more intent on his PR people putting out spin stories, including claims that the signing of Miguel Almiron is being too greedy in asking for Premier League level wages.
We have already seen what crisis equals under Mike Ashley at Newcastle United with two relegations, this would be a third in the last nine NUFC Premier League seasons if he pulls it off again.
Rafa Benitez hoped for belated backing in the transfer market but predictably he will go into this game at Chelsea with no new signings.
These last 10 Premier League have seen only two goals (Clark and Perez) scored by Newcastle players, other than Salomon Rondon who has scored five times in this run of matches.
Quite amazing that anybody could be questioning Rafa’s decision to rest/protect Rondon in the Blackburn FA Cup game. Especially when we were treated to the alternative we’d be watching if our only striker was injured, Joselu giving a performance that reached new depths.
Michael Owen can only see one result happening on Saturday with Chelsea set to get the three points.
The only positive he comes up with is that the home side are struggling to score many. They do though have 18 goals in their last six PL matches v Newcastle and tend to put out attacking teams in these matches due to the lack of threat NUFC pose at the other end.
Chelsea are easily the lowest scorers (38 goals) in the Premier League top six and no doubt Rafa Benitez will be hoping that his side can replicate Southampton’s point at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago, a goalless draw despite Chelsea dominating possession, shots and corners.
However, the fact remains that only Huddersfield have scored less than Newcastle’s 15 goals and when you carry so little treat, until new signings are made, a team like Chelsea will end up camped in your half most of the match.
Rafa Benitez yet again looking for luck and hard work to give his side any chance, with inspiration so lacking.
If only Newcastle could find a goal from somewhere on Saturday, it could get interesting against a Chelsea side who haven’t scored more than two goals in any game since November.
Michael Owen talking to BetVictor:
“Chelsea have scored 18 times in their last six home league games with Newcastle who have only scored twice in reply.
“The Blues have failed to score in their last two home league games, but I just can’t see United keeping the hosts at arm’s length.
The Magpies continue to struggle for goals – just four in their last 8 league games.
“And I expect the hosts to win a low-scoring affair.
“Chelsea to win and under 2.5 goals at 12/5
“Correct score: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 0 11/2.”
Chelsea v Newcastle Match Betting:
All Chelsea v Newcastle betting HERE