BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has voiced doubt in Newcastle being able to match their previous efforts to win at Chelsea after beating Manchester United in their last Premier League fixture.
Steve Bruce’s Magpies recorded a 1-0 victory over the Red Devils earlier this month, when a sole goal by top-flight debutant Matty Longstaff was enough to ensure the points remained at St. James’ Park.
Proceedings were not entirely in Newcastle’s favour against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who enjoyed 68.1% of possession but could only turn three of their 12 shots on target, while the Magpies struck two of their 12 toward the net, per WhoScored data.
Longstaff was also denied by the post, and he is set to retain his place in the Toon starting line-up against Chelsea (Northern Echo), as Bruce feels it would be all-but-impossible to drop the midfielder on Saturday following his heroics last time out.
Lawrenson has noted that the 19-year-old’s goal brought a huge lift to Newcastle on ‘such a good day’ for the North East outfit but is not expecting a repeat performance from Bruce’s side at Stamford Bridge.
The former Liverpool defender feels Frank Lampard’s Blues will have too much for the Toon to handle and carry far stronger form into the encounter having won their past four games across all competitions while scoring 15 goals.
“Newcastle’s win over Manchester United was such a good day for Magpies manager Steve Bruce, the Longstaff brothers, the fans – everyone at the club,” Lawrenson wrote in his weekly predictions for BBC Sport.
“It is going to be hard for them to build on that victory against Chelsea, though. The Blues have won their past four games, and it looks like they have turned the corner.”
Lawrenson has backed Chelsea to stretch their winning run to five games with a 2-0 victory of Bruce’s Newcastle, who will be hoping the West London outfit have not solved their inconsistency issues that allowed Sheffield United to take a point and Norwich City to equalise twice before eventually losing 3-2.
Recent performances would support Lawrenson’s verdict, though, as Chelsea cruised to a 4-1 win at Southampton in their most recent league game, where seven of their 13 shots were on target and wingers Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi both registered three key passes each (WhoScored).
Keeping the Blues’ marauding forwards quiet will be a tough ask for Jetro Willems and DeAndre Yedlin, should they start on Saturday, but doing so could see Bruce’s side leave with something to show for their efforts.
Which brother can go further in the game?
Newcastle fans, does Yedlin keep his place over Emil Krafth following his performance against Manchester United? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Newcastle notifications!