NEWCASTLE meet Chelsea on Saturday. Ben Ragg (@Punters_Corner_) is on-hand to deliver his favourite fancies.
Newcastle vs Chelsea | Saturday 21st November 2020, 12:30 | BT Sport
The Premier League restarts after another international break at St James Park with fifth-placed Chelsea the visitors. The Blues come into this game on a four-match winning streak in all competitions and look to be a strong outfit this season after a shaky start.
Chelsea have looked a lot stronger defensively in recent weeks which has been backed up by the stats. Frank Lampard's outfit have kept five clean sheets in their last six matches.
Chelsea fans will be really pleased with how the centre-back pairing of Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma seems to be gelling. However, the visitors will likely see a new centre-back pairing this weekend with Silva arriving late back from international duty.
Newcastle followed up their impressive win over Everton with a lacklustre 2-0 loss to Southampton where they were second best in every department. The Toon never looked like scoring and this problem could be worsened this weekend with Callum Wilson not 100% fit; Steve Bruce said in his Friday press conference that he has a chance of playing.
Bruce has partnered Wilson and Alain Saint-Maximin up top together in a 5-3-2 formation in recent weeks but may have to look for other alternatives if Wilson is not passed fit.
Mason Mount was one of only two players to start all three England games in the international break and is clearly someone that Gareth Southgate trusts. He started twice in a deeper midfield role alongside Declan Rice. Nevertheless, Mount played well in that role and I expect him to be part of a midfield three here with two from N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Matteo Kovacic.
One of the attributes that has made Mount a favourite with both Lampard and Southgate is his work rate. He’s not afraid to get stuck in for his team which is why the tackles market looks appealing.
Mount averages 2.18 tackles per-game in the league this season and when playing in central midfield he has managed 2,3,2 tackles. So that makes 2+ tackles at 11/10 really good value with either SkyBet or William Hill.
The referee for this one is Craig Pawson who ranks fifth for most cards in the Premier League this season and is not afraid to get his cards out.
With Saint-Maximin likely to operate centrally again the yellow card market appeals. Thrree central midfielders have been carded versus Newcastle in their last two games and ASM has been fouled 3.1 times per-game (third-highest in the league).
Kante will likely be in that defensive midfield role and isn’t shy of a yellow card. He’s been priced at 9/2 for a caution with Betfair which looks a good option with who he’ll be up against.
The second card bet I like is on Newcastle left back Jamal Lewis. Lewis has already been booked three times this season and three of the last six left backs versus Chelsea have been carded. So, the 11/2 price available with SkyBet or William Hill looks way too big.
These two card bets can also be doubled up for a 38/1 longshot with Betfair.