Chelsea might be on the longest unbeaten streak in the league but 15 points from nine games is hardly championship winning stuff and they’ve relied on injury time equalisers to pick up points with Everton and Man Utd in that time. Indeed, while people have said how Chelsea are unbeaten under Guus Hiddink they might want to consider that they’re also yet to win at home under the Dutchman after four straight draws at Stamford Bridge.
The first meeting between these teams saw a late Chelsea comeback to pick up a point in a 2-2 draw that might have been expected to give the Blues some momentum after a slow start to the campaign. However, results and performances have never particularly improved and they now face a week that could define their seasons as they face PSG in the Champions League on Tuesday, followed by Man City in the FA Cup next weekend.
Chelsea have won only three of seven home matches against the current bottom half this season and they’ve been starting far slower this term compared to last. In their title winning campaign they were ahead at half-time in 11 of their 19 home games compared to just three of 13 this season, although despite their decline they are still yet to trail at the break here in all that time.
Newcastle have shown a bit of fight recently as they’ve climbed out of the bottom three and their January additions look to have improved a team that has more quality than it’s shown for much of this campaign. Results on the road have barely improved, however, as they’ve lost 19 of their last 25 away from St James’ Park. However, they’ve generally upped their game when playing the biggest names this season as they’ve picked up a pair of draws against Man Utd, beaten both Spurs and Liverpool in their only meetings and suffered two narrow 1-0 losses to Arsenal. The one exception would be the 6-1 hammering at Man City as Sergio Aguero scored five, but even then they were level at half-time.
The Magpies have improved as the season has progressed and look perfectly capable of picking up at least a point against a Chelsea side that will probably have an eye on Tuesday’s clash in Paris and certainly won’t be risking any 50-50 tackles after seeing Kurt Zouma sidelined last weekend. They are getting a 1.25 goal advantage on the Asian Handicap and that looks very generous, with even a one-goal defeat netting a half-win. However, we think they can go better than that and will take them on the Double Chance.
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