Chelsea travel to Newcastle on Saturday (17:30 GMT) in search of three points to keep them in the box-seat for the fourth and final Champions League position.
Chelsea have a five point cushion ahead of Manchester United in 5th, while Newcastle also have a five point lead over Aston Villa in 18th, which is sure to make this a keenly contested affair as neither side can afford to rest on their laurels in terms of achieving their respective aims.
The Blues have been in superb form away from Stamford Bridge in the Premier League this campaign, averaging two points per game, but are unlikely to find it easy against a Newcastle side who have only lost by more than one goal on one occasion at St. James’ Park this season.
The Magpies cruised to victory over League One side Rochdale in their FA Cup replay on Tuesday evening. Astonishingly, Steve Bruce is aiming to take Newcastle past the fourth round for the first time since 2006, which may explain why he chose to start Joelinton and Miguel Almirón – both of whom scored in the 4-1 win – as opposed to resting them for league duties.
This may in part explain why a well-rested Chelsea side are expected to dominate the hosts; the bookmakers have them as odds-on 1/2 favourites to take the three points back to London with them.
The draw is 7/2, with a Newcastle win 11/2.
Unsurprisingly, Tammy Abraham is odds-on at 8/11 to score anytime for the away side. The England striker certainly should not be short of any motivation to perform well between now and May given Harry Kane’s lengthy spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
Abraham’s England and Chelsea team-mate Mason Mount, meanwhile, is surely due a goal sooner rather than later having blanked in his last seven league games. The attacking midfielder is 12/5 to end that drought here, with winger Callum Hudson-Odoi 5/2 after scoring his first Premier League goal last weekend.
For Newcastle, the value pick may well be Almirón, who seemingly cannot stop scoring now his Newcastle career has belatedly lifted off. The Paraguayan is 5/1 to continue his purple patch.
With both teams scoring in 82% of Chelsea’s away matches, and their record on the road being as strong as it is, there may also be value in 2/1 for the Blues to win with Newcastle scoring.