The Blues have made a flying start to life under Thomas Tuchel, taking 10 points from a possible 12 and completely dominating possession in all four matches.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have eased their relegation concerns with two wins from their last three matches, but were dealt a cruel blow with Callum Wilson’s hamstring injury likely to keep him out of action for eight weeks.
Chelsea are heavily odds-on 2/9 favourites to win the match, with the draw 11/2 and a Newcastle win 11/1.
Without Wilson it’s very difficult to see Newcastle getting anything out of this match, although the return of Allan Saint-Maximin does at least provide them with an attacking outlet.
They will certainly need the winger to be at his best with Newcastle blanking in their last four games against the traditional Big Six, and in their previous four away games before the surprise Wilson-inspired win at Everton.
Antonio Rudiger’s comical own goal against Sheffield United is the only time Chelsea have conceded under Tuchel so far, so I just think Chelsea will be too strong here.
To get more juice on the Chelsea win, I’ll also back both teams to receive a card each.
Steve Bruce’s side have both picked up two or more and seen their opponents receive two or more cards in 65% of their matches this season, so for whatever reasons, their matches tend to be card-fests.
Chelsea themselves have picked up significantly more cards since the turn of the year while drawing at least one card in all four games under Tuchel.
Perhaps more importantly, though, Peter Bankes officiates having shown both teams at least one card each in all nine of his PL games this season, so hopefully the likes of Saint-Maximin or Miguel Almiron can draw at least one out of Chelsea on the break:
If you’re looking for a bigger price, Chelsea to win & score 2+ goals, 2+ Newcastle cards, 1+ Chelsea card, 2+ first half Chelsea corners and Under 5 Newcastle corners is 4/1. The Blues have averaged 7.75 corners to 1.50 under Tuchel so far.
In terms of player cards, Isaac Hayden and N’Golo Kante are obvious candidates if both start having both received six bookings this season. The double pays 22/1 (Betfair), while adding a Mason Mount shot on target provides an appealing 40/1 treble.
Hayden has been booked in his last two matches against Chelsea, while Kante has been booked in five of his last eight league appearances. However, the Frenchman is yet to start in the league under Tuchel, with Jorginho and Matteo Kovacic preferred in the centre of midfield. If that is the case once again, opting for Jorginho rather than Kante may be worthwhile.
Mount, meanwhile, is enjoying a more advanced role under Tuchel having tested the oppositon goalkeeper in each of his last two starts.
Other players who look long for a card are Jamaal Lascelles (4/1, Unibet), Jonjo Shelvey (4/1, bet365), Cesar Azpilicueta (5/1, Sky Bet) and Reece James (11/2, Sky Bet).
Azpilicueta and James have seven bookings between them this season and could struggle against Saint-Maximin on the break, while Shelvey has two bookings in his last three games and Lascelles will have a tough time coping with Timo Werner’s pace after only recently recovering from a hamstring injury.
Sky Bet’s tackles market appeals, too, with Kante, Azpilicueta and Jamal Lewis all odds-against to land marks they regularly have so far this season.
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