TheSportsRush brings the predicted starting XI for Chelsea vs Newcastle United, as Sarri’s side looks to score another three points.
Chelsea will travel to the St. James’ Park on Sunday to play Newcastle United. The Blues have a two wins in two games since their Community Shield defeat to Manchester City. They come into this clash on the back of a 3-2 over arch rivals Arsenal.
As Maurizio Sarri seeks for a third straight win, let us have a look at how he will line up his troops.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has had a comfortable start to life at Chelsea. With a clean sheet and lack of work in his first two matches, he should be handed another start when Chelsea travel to the north of England.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso were star performers in the defeat of Arsenal. Both the Spaniards provided an assist apiece while the latter even scored a goal. The Spaniards are likely to start at fullback.
Maurizio Sarri has been rotating his three top centre backs- Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and David Luiz. With the first two having gotten time on the bench, it could be Luiz’s turn to sit. This would mean that the German and Danish would start at central defence.
Jorginho has been phenomenal in his first three matches for Chelsea. He has wonderfully run the play for the Blues and could do the same from the first minute against the Magpies.
N’Golo Kante had a comfortable evening against Arsenal but could be important in order to stop Newcastle’s free flowing attack. The World Cup winner is also likely to start.
Ross Barkley did start Chelsea’s last two fixtures, but Mateo Kovacic’s confident cameo against Arsenal could have forced Sarri to wear his thinking cap. The Newcastle fixture could finally be the day of the Croat’s first start.
Also read: Arsenal’s predicted starting XI vs West Ham
Chelsea’s attack has hammered six goals in the last two matches. Eden Hazard was absent for the previous two fixtures and only came on as a substitute. The Belgian set up a goal each against Huddersfield and Arsenal and might get his long due start on Sunday.
Alvaro Morata showed great composure to score Chelsea’s second against Arsenal. He is hungry for more goals and has displayed that with presence of mind in the box. The former Juventus striker is the favourite to spearhead the attack against Benitez’s side.
Now, the question that arises is- who could be sacrificed between Willian and Pedro to make way for Hazard? I’d say Willian. Pedro has two goals in as many games in the Premier League while his Brazilian competitor did look a bit flustered in his outing against Arsenal.
Starting XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic; Hazard, Morata, Pedro