Charlie Nicholas predicts Chelsea v Newcastle United
A fortnight ago, Charlie Nicholas declared: ‘One week, Newcastle will surprise everybody…’
Well so far this season we have had a few surprises already, some of them not nice ones.
Previewing that game at St James Park before the international break, Charlie Nicholas added ‘If they hit them and are aggressive, they can shock Manchester United.’
With Yedlin, Saint-Maximin, Willems and Matty Longstaff coming into that team two weeks ago, it certainly meant that at least Newcastle had a bit more pace and mobility. Steve Bruce didn’t exactly have his team in a state of ‘hit them and are aggressive’ as he yet again went for very negative tactics but at least when it came to the key moment, Newcastle did have three v three when breaking from a Man Utd corner, when Miguel Almiron picked out ASM with an excellent ball from the left-back position, the move ending eventually with the Matty Longstaff winning goal.
In midweek, Charlie Nicholas said that his biggest disappointment in the Premier League this season, was Newcastle fans refusing to give Steve Bruce credit.
A bit of a strange one as there has been no open hostility to the head coach at actual matches, despite embarrassments such as Norwich and Leicester away, as well as really poor performances against Watford and Brighton at home. Fans are understandably depressed about seeing Rafa Benitez replaced by somebody like Steve Bruce but he has been praised for the two good performances out of nine this season and which produced two excellent results.
Charlie Nicholas has been looking ahead to Saturday at Stamford Bridge and says that ‘This is everybody’s banker of the weekend’, with Chelsea expected to win.
At the same time, the Sky Sports pundit also states: ‘Chelsea have the youngsters and are playing well, but they will have a roller coaster season…’
On the bare stats, Chelsea don’t look much of a banker based on their home form.
In six games at Stamford Bridge (all competitions) they have only won two games, against Brighton in the Premier League and Grimsby in the League Cup.
In their other Premier League home matches, Lampard’s team have lost to Liverpool and drawn with Sheffield United and Leicester, whilst losing to Valencia in the Champions League.
Yes they are fifth in the league but this is a pretty average Premier League seemingly, apart from the obvious, Chelsea are already 10 points off the top and yet only seven points off the relegation zone.
Goals have been Newcastle’s problem and only rock bottom Watford have scored less than Newcastle’s five.
The big question remains, have Newcastle got the players and formation to be any kind of a decent attacking threat this season and able to create a lot more chances than they have done so far?
Chelsea have scored 18 goals in the Premier League this season but averaged almost two a game when it comes to conceding, leaking 14 goals in the PL so far.
The only game so far when Newcastle have got anything without a clean sheet, was Watford at home and the 1-1 draw was fortuitous with Watford creating more chances.
On Saturday I can see Chelsea scoring at least a couple and Newcastle will need to do the same to have any chance of getting something from the match, who can be the goalscorers to come forward.
Charlie Nicholas thinks Chelsea will win but also believes they won’t find it easy, going for a 2-1 home win.
An interesting game awaits with much interest in seeing how Newcastle play after doing ok against a very poor Man Utd team
Charlie Nicholas speaking to Sky Sports:
“This is everybody’s banker of the weekend, but Newcastle have gone to Tottenham and won, which people questioned.
“They then beat Manchester United at home but it wasn’t sensational.
“Steve Bruce will be saying that this is a free swing.
“Chelsea have the youngsters and are playing well, but they will have a roller coaster season, which is what I said from the start.
“These are the games that it took Liverpool years to overcome – these teams sit in and don’t threaten, but try to frustrate.
“Newcastle do this and they did it at Tottenham, this is the type of team they are.
“Chelsea will get there, but I don’t see them dominating unless they score in the first 10 minutes – I see it being tight.
“Prediction is Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1.”
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