IT’S crisis time at Newcastle. Will they get anything from Chelsea on Saturday? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at the odds.
Newcastle v Chelsea | Saturday 17:30 | Sky Sports 1
The last time Newcastle hosted Chelsea in the league they won 2-1 last December. It was the peak of Alan Pardew’s encore from the club, he had pushed them off the bottom of the table to the European places in the space of six weeks. How Steve McClaren would love to figure out how to do that.
Newcastle lie 19th as I write after six games without a league win. Their Cup exploits have been equally as poor with a humbling elimination at the hands of a second string second tier Sheffield Wednesday side this midweek. Can McClaren turn it round? It’s a big ask here on Saturday.
After a horlicks of start, Chelsea’s season has taken flight with wins over Arsenal and Maccabi Tel Aviv in the last week and a half. Perhaps after the late start to their pre-season they’re finally hitting their groove?
On Saturday they’ll be without the suspended Diego Costa but are actually unbeaten in the Premier League without their dastardly villain. It can’t help though.
On the other side of the divide Aleksander Mitrovic returns for Newcastle from his suspension and make no mistake about it, he owes McClaren and the club some payback here.
The Serb has been playing like Paul Gascoigne in the 1991 FA Cup Final so far this season and could have conceivably been sent off in every game he’s played. I think the guy has talent and if he manages to harness his disciplinary issues he could be a potent threat.
In front of a demanding St James Park crowd on Saturday I just get the impression he might rise to the occasion and create some headlines. I’m going to place my first ever Anytime Goalscorer bet on him at 7/2 with Betfred and also back the Both Teams To Score offering at 4/5 with BetVictor.
Chelsea still look shaky at the back and have conceded in six of their eight matches this season. Walsall breached their rearguard midweek and I can see McClaren urging his troops to have a go on Saturday.
Newcastle v Chelsea – Both Teams To Score (4/5 BetVictor)
Newcastle v Chelsea – Aleksander Mitrovic to score anytime (7/2 Betfred)
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