Premier League Preview: Chelsea v. Newcastle

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  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek (back) is unavailable but Alvaro Morata (hamstring) is expected to be fit to face Newcastle.
  • Chelsea have only lost one of its 23 Premier League home matches against Newcastle
  • Salomon Rondon has scored Newcastle’s last three away goals in the Premier League.

The last in a full day of matches comes Saturday afternoon as Chelsea hosts former coach Rafa Benitez and Newcastle (12:30 p.m. ET live on NBC or live online at NBCSports.com).

The Blues are coming off a surprise scoreless draw with Southampton while Newcastle are winless in their last four. The winds are swirling at Chelsea as Cesc Fabregas departed and Callum Hudson-Odoi is a big transfer target of Bayern Munich, though Chelsea has so far refused to accept any bids for the talented 18-year-old.

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Alvaro Morata could be fit to play, but one wonders if Maurizio Sarri will go with Eden Hazard in the false nine role again. At the same time, Newcastle has plenty of injuries to deal with, and three players just coming back off the sidelines. It will be a big loss to replace Jonjo Shelvey and Yoshinori Muto.


What they’re saying

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri on his team’s scoring problems: “We need to score. We need to solve this problem. In the last match we played very well, with continuity and with a very good offensive and defensive phase, and with a great performance from a physical point of view – the best of the season – but we didn’t score. We have to work and try to solve it as soon as possible.”

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez on focusing his team against Chelsea: ”We have to realize where we are and we have to realize the only way forward is to stay united. We can’t waste too much energy. The idea last year when we were back in the Premier League was to be united. You have to realize that this is a big city and massive club.”


Prediction

Chelsea may be struggling to score goals, but Newcastle are in a relegation fight. Even without much of a striker, Chelsea should still have enough talent and firepower up top to win. Plus, with so many players out injured for Newcastle, the challenge grows even more for the visitors. Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle

Manchester United issues statement on Pogba ‘knock’

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
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Alternate headline: Manchester United hopes Shelvey gets suspension for Pogba tackle?

The Red Devils issued a Sunday statement explaining Paul Pogba‘s absence from their training trip to Dubai, a day after the Frenchman was left out of the squad in a 2-0 FA Cup defeat of Reading.

[ REPORT: Bayern to buy U.S. prospect ]

Pogba was not in photographs of the team traveling abroad, and United explained that the player “has not completely recovered from the knock he sustained against Newcastle and stayed back for treatment, but he will join his Manchester United team-mates in Dubai soon in preparation for the Tottenham game.”

Jonjo Shelvey went studs-up into the back of Pogba’s right leg — hamstring, not calf — and left the Frenchman with the aforementioned knock.

It was a nasty challenge, worthy of a red card, but did not get Shelvey sent off.

Is there any question whether the Red Devils’ star will be available for the first true test of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era, Jan. 13 vs. Spurs?

Super sub Lukaku leads Man United to victory (video)

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  • Scoreless at half
  • Lukaku scores with first touch
  • Rashford puts it to bed

Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford scored second half goals as Manchester United won its fourth-straight match under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer with a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Wednesday.

The win moves United three points back of fifth place Arsenal and six back of fourth place Chelsea.

Newcastle United is now one of three teams on 18 points, two points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Marcus Rashford whipped a free post toward the near post that Martin Dubravka parried in the 9th minute.

Newcastle got its first chance when Christian Atsu got behind the defense and made a deft trap, but the Ghanaian’s shot was caught by a stooping David De Gea. Atsu then dribbled at Victor Lindelof before hitting a soft shot that didn’t fool De Gea.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Rashford and Anthony Martial both threatened in the Newcastle final third, but Dubravka was quick to react for the Magpies.

Paul Pogba cut a shot across goal and wide in the 30th.

DeAndre Yedlin found Salomon Rondon with a cross in the 34th minute, but the Venezuelan popped a header over the bar.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

 

Substitute Jonjo Shelvey helped Newcastle to a pair of chances, one an exceptional pass that Ayoze Perez butchered via first touch and the second a mediocre shot that was caught by De Gea.

Lukaku scored with his first touch of the game, as Dubravka spilled a Rashford free kick onto the doorstep.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Shelvey hammered a shot wide in the 69th, and Atsu did the same in the 76th.

Just as Newcastle United appeared to have their finger on the pulse of the match, the Red Devils counter attacked for goal No. 2. Rashford and Lukaku sprang the rush, with Alexis Sanchez providing the assist on the former’s finish.

Opportunistic Brighton nips sleepy Newcastle

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  • Moribund Magpies hit bottom
  • Brighton scores with only shot on target
  • Newcastle out attempts Seagulls 27-7

Newcastle United controlled the game but failed to manufacture much danger, as the woeful Magpies lost again, this time 1-0 to Brighton and Hove Albion at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Beram Kayal scored for Brighton, who moves 12th with 11 points. Newcastle has two points, and sits dead last.

Glenn Murray was injured early after a scary head-to-head clash with Federico Fernandez and was stretchered off the pitch.

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Shelvey darted in to take the ball from Gaetan Bong, and Ayoze Perez’s low effort could’ve been a bit better but still forced a fine save out of Mathew Ryan.

Ryan was hurt trying to get around Perez for a loose ball moments later, favoring his shoulder.

There was a much scarier incident moments later, which caused a 10-minute delay in the match. Glenn Murray won an aerial challenge with Federico Fernandez, but they clashed heads and both hit the turf.

Murray appeared to be knocked cold, and players rushed to steady his neck and clear his pathway as trainers rushed to treat him. He was stretchered off the pitch.

Brighton went ahead in the 29th minute off a corner kick which should not have been given, as Jose Izquierdo’s long shot through traffic took a turn off Kayal and into the goal.

Newcastle reclaimed the driver’s seat, and Matt Ritchie headed wide in the 39th minute.

Shane Duffy then blocked a dangerous low drive from Jonjo Shelvey, and moments later Yoshinori Muto nodded a bouncing, rising Shelvey rebound over the bar.

Kenedy then came close with a laser from 25 yards, skimming the top of the bar.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Ryan made a fine save on Shelvey just after halftime as Newcastle went right back on the front foot.

He’d later push a deflected Shelvey free kick over the bar before saving from Kenedy off the ensuing corner.

But Newcastle had no ideas and not enough desperation, handing a result to the Seagulls.

Jose’s heroes: Man Utd produces huge comeback win

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  • Kenedy, Muto score in first 10 mins
  • Mata scores free kick
  • Martial makes it 2-2 in 76′
  • Alexis scores 90th minute winner

Anthony Martial and Juan Mata scored second half goals, and Alexis Sanchez scored in the 90th minute as Manchester United came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Newcastle United 3-2 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto put the visitors ahead 2-0 within 10 minutes, but the Red Devils struck back with vigor under embattled manager Jose Mourinho. Friday reports said Mourinho would be fired regardless of result. Well, that would sure be something.

Manchester United moves 8th with 13 points, while Newcastle is 19th with two points.

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Newcastle had a lead inside of seven minutes, a throw-in finding Ayoze Perez for an inch-perfect through ball to Kenedy. The Brazilian loanee from Chelsea, cut around Ashley Young and curled his shot past David De Gea.

A wake-up call it wasn’t, as new Magpies forward Muto then danced past Young inside the 18 to make it 2-0 in the 10th minute.

De Gea made a terrific save on Jonjo Shelvey in the 18th minute to keep the deficit at two.

Jose Mourinho gave a long hug to Eric Bailly in bringing Juan Mata on for the center back in the 20th minute.

Romelu Lukaku‘s pinpoint cross was headed wide by Marcus Rashford in the 23rd minute, and it really should’ve been 2-1.

Muto nodded a shot on target that De Gea stopped short of the goal line in the 36th.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Pogba was moved into a back three for the second half with Chris Smalling and Nemanja Matic.

Martin Dubravka made an inspiring save on Paul Pogba‘s deflected 51st minute effort, and Nemanja Matic skied the rebound over the gaping goal.

Young crossed into the fray and Rashford missed the mark with a 56th minute header.

Newcastle wasn’t simply sitting back, and Kenedy flashed over the goal in the 59th.

Mourinho made his final sub with 24 minutes to play, bringing on Alexis Sanchez for Marcus Rashford.

Mata pulled one back for the Red Devils in the 70th minute with a tremendous free kick.

Dubravka made three saves in a 2-minute span as the match edged toward the final quarter hour, including a brilliant stop on Smalling from point blank range.

That’s when Martial leveled the score to set the stage for this from much maligned attacker Alexis.