Already in the grip of a four-match winless slump in the league, Chelsea’s misery was compounded with an early Carabao Cup exit in midweek and already new Blues boss Graham Potter has had to absorb some scathing criticism for his team’s performances. Today, Chelsea face a Newcastle side that are in the midst of the Premier League’s longest active unbeaten surge (nine games) and the Magpies will be determined to prolong Potter’s pain in the north east.
Below, we’ve assembled a stats pack for this evening’s game which is complete with info on shots, shots on target, fouls, xG, cards, corners and more from the teams’ Premier League journeys since the summer. Make sure to use our research and my Stats Pack Guide to construct better bet builders later on.
Emil Krafth, Alexander Isak, Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie are all still in the treatment room for Newcastle, while Ryan Fraser is a doubt having picked up a calf injury during the week.
Joelinton is free to feature again following a one-game ban, while Miguel Almiron, Joe Willock, Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Trippier and Sven Botman among others should come back into the XI having been named on the bench in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Crystal Palace.
N’Golo Kante remains a long-term absentee for Chelsea while Wesley Fofana, Ben Chilwell and Reece James won’t be available until after the World Cup. Kepa Arrizabalaga is sidelined with a foot injury, while Jorginho is also a doubt.
Graham Potter has been chopping and changing his team on a weekly basis, making it difficult to predict any Chelsea XI. Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Thiago Silva seem certain to start today having been kept on the bench in midweek, however.
Third-placed Newcastle have won six of their last seven Premier League assignments and are unbeaten in nine games overall and unsurprisingly, their supporting stats prop up their superb performances even further.
The Magpies rank fourth in the division for shots per 90 (15.71) and sixth for shots against (11.50), while only the current top two, Man City and Arsenal, have a higher xG per 90 than Eddie Howe’s charges. Only the Cityzens and Liverpool have won more corners than Newcastle so far.
Chelsea continue to flounder in the final third and Graham Potter’s toothless outfit have scored just six times in their last seven fixtures in all competitions, while their 1.30 goals per 90 figure in the Premier League places them all the way down in 12th spot for that metric.
Alarmingly for the Blues, their xG (1.35 p/90) suggests they are probably scoring as many goals as they deserve to, while their shot clock in both directions is perfectly balanced.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
In Callum Wilson (3.2 shots p/90), Miguel Almiron (2.8) and Joelinton (1.7), Newcastle have a set of excellent shot market options worthy of inclusion today and all three players wield enough confidence to make an impact.
In the Magpies’ last home game against Aston Villa (4-0), that trio mustered a whopping 12 attempts between them, which accounted for 60% of Newcastle’s total shots for the day.
Chelsea racked up just five attempts in their last Premier League tests against Arsenal and Graham Potter will demand far more thrust in the final third at St James’ Park this evening.
Kai Havertz (2.18 shots per 90), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (1.77) and Mason Mount (2.10) all managed to register a shot against the Gunners last week. Raheem Sterling didn’t however, and the England winger has now gone three Premier League appearances without lodging an attempt on goal.
Player Goals and Assists
Miguel Almiron is arguably playing the best football of his career at present and the Paraguayan notched his eighth Premier League goal of the season in last weekend’s 4-1 rout of Southampton.
Callum Wilson claimed two goals and an assist against Aston Villa the week before and the 30-year-old has eight goal contributions in ten Premier League appearances overall. Kieran Tripper bagged an assist in his each of his last two league runouts (vs Aston Villa and Southampton).
Raheem Sterling is still Chelsea’s joint-top scorer in the league with three goals, though the fact that he hasn’t scored for eight games in the top flight speaks volumes. Kai Havertz notched two of his three efforts inside his last five appearances.
Mason Mount has four goal contributions in the Premier League (2G, 2A), though the England schemer has gone seven games in all competitions without scoring or creating a goal. The Blues have scored just once from open play in their last 360 minutes of Premier League football.
Joelinton should reprise his role between midfield and attack for Newcastle this evening and armed with a clean slate following a recent ban for an accumulation of bookings, the Brazilian should throw his weight around against the Blues.
Full-backs Kieran Tripper and Dan Burn have both collected two Premier League cautions each this term and both Magpies defenders could have some heavy lifting to do at the back later today.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been Chelsea’s most-fouled player (2.0 p/90) in the Premier League this season and the versatile 26-year-old faces a physical battle against Joelinton in central areas this evening.
Raheem Sterling (fouled 1.1 times per/90) and Kai Havertz (fouled 0.7 times per/90) should be marked touch-tight by Tripper and Burn today. Both duels have serious card potential.
Match-Ups to watch
Joelinton vs Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Kieran Tripper vs Raheem Sterling
Dan Burn vs Kai Havertz
Chelsea’s list of most prolific foulers and card collectors is populated by attack-minded players, though today’s best candidates are lurking in more defensive zones.
Trevor Chalobah has had a nervy couple of weeks and he was carded in each of his last two appearances for Chelsea against Arsenal in the league and Man City in the Carabao Cup. To his left, Marc Cucurella (two cards) has yet to find his feet with the Blues and he should be thoroughly tested again today.
In midfield, Mateo Kovacic (two cards) should have more defensive work to tend to in Jorginho’s absence.
Brazilian playmaker Bruno Guimaraes’ influence continues to grow at Newcastle and the 24-year-old has been marked out for special treatment by opponents. Guimaraes has been fouled more often (3.00 per 90) than any other Magpies player this season and Chelsea’s Kovacic should be on his case today.
Callum Wilson (fouled 0.8 times p/90) has the strength to unsettle Chalobah through the centre, while red-hot Miguel Almiron’s (fouled 0.8 times p/90) surges into the right channel could spell trouble for Cucurella.
Match-Ups to watch
Trevor Chalobah vs Callum Wilson
Marc Cucurella vs Miguel Almiron
Mateo Kovacic vs Bruno Guimaraes