Chelsea will be looking to make it five Premier League victories in a row when they welcome an in-form Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues will enter the contest off the back of a 3-1 win over Norwich City on Thursday, while Newcastle continued their excellent form on the same night with a 2-1 success at Southampton.
There is a lot of uncertainty at Chelsea at the moment, with the club facing a change of ownership, while the capital giants have been hit with a number of restrictions due to the UK government sanctions against current owner Roman Abramovich.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel and the players can only control matters on the field, though, and the Blues put their issues aside on Thursday evening to record a 3-1 victory over Norwich, which made it four straight wins in England’s top flight and strengthened their control of third position.
Chelsea have collected 56 points from their 27 league games this term, which has left them eight points clear of fourth-placed Arsenal in the table, although the Gunners have two matches in hand on their capital rivals.
The Blues lost to Liverpool in the final of the EFL Cup at the end of February, but they progressed in the FA Cup with a 3-2 success at Luton Town earlier this month, while the club are in a strong position to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, having recorded a 2-0 win over Lille in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
Tuchel’s side have the second-best away record in the Premier League this season, but they have been held on five occasions in front of their own supporters, and it remains to be seen what kind of atmosphere will greet the players on Sunday, with the London giants going through a period of huge uncertainty.
Newcastle will be looking to take advantage of any issues that crop up for the home side this weekend, with the Magpies transforming their form in recent weeks to move away from the relegation zone.
Eddie Howe’s side are unbeaten in the Premier League since December 19, winning six of their last seven matches in England’s tNewcastle were in serious relegation trouble towards the end of last year but are now up in 14th position in the table, 10 points clear of the bottom three, while they are only four points behind 10th-placed Southampton with a game in hand, which is an extraordinary turn of events considering their troubles.
Howe’s team will head to Stamford Bridge full of confidence, particularly as they have picked up 10 points from their last four away matches in the Premier League, but the Magpies have lost their last three Premier League games to Chelsea without scoring a single goal, including a 3-0 reverse earlier this season.
Newcastle have also not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the league since May 2012, but the Blues have been held by Everton, Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool in three of their last four top-flight games at home.
Chelsea Premier League form:
Chelsea form (all competitions):
Newcastle United Premier League form:
We say: Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle United
This will be a real test of Newcastle’s recent improvement, and it would not be a surprise to see the Magpies claim a positive result on Sunday afternoon. Chelsea’s recent form has been impressive, though, and we believe that the superior quality in the home side’s team will allow them to claim a huge three points.