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Newcastle team news & predicted XI vs Chelsea

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Newcastle United will head to the capital for their Premier League clash with Chelsea this evening, and Eddie Howe will be forced to make at least one big change to his line-up.

The Magpies will continue their pursuit to climb the table at Stamford Bridge tonight, but with Chelsea keen to get back on track and inside the top half, it will be no easy test for the travelling Tynesiders.

Despite their convincing 3-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’ Park last weekend, Howe will be under no illusions that the remaining 11 league fixtures will be a breeze, especially with the ongoing injury issues that have occurred throughout the entire season so far.

Indeed, Howe has welcomed back some significant players in his squad, with Alexander Isak making a return from recovery recently, however, it has seemed like as soon as one key player returns, another gets added to the list of absentees.

This evening, the Newcastle boss will be without long-term absentees Nick Pope, Sandro Tonali, Callum Wilson and Joelinton, whilst Keiran Trippier also joins them on the sidelines after suffering a calf injury in the clash with Wolves.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference last week, Howe told the media:

“Kieran’s injury is not too bad – a minor injury. The scans showed enough to probably keep him out for the next two games, and we hope he will be back for the first game after the international break, although that’s not guaranteed.

“There is every chance he comes to both games – he is very keen to stay with the group despite the injury. It highlights his leadership qualities.”

In other news, Lewis Hall is ineligible to feature against his parent club under the lights in West London, and left-back Matt Targett will undergo a late fitness test after returning to training.

How could Newcastle line up against Chelsea?

We predict that Howe will make just one change to the starting eleven he selected in the win over Wolves last weekend, maintaining a 4-3-3 formation.

In the defensive set-up, Martin Dubravka will continue to protect the net in the absence of Pope, and in the largely unchanged back four, we expect to see Tino Livramento take on Kieran Trippier’s important right-back role against Chelsea, while Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, and Dan Burn retain their starting spots.

In midfield, we predict that the centre of the pitch will remain the same, with Brazilian dynamo Bruno Guimaraes, local lad Sean Longstaff, and former Arsenal prodigy Joe Willock the trusted trio.

In the attacking threat, we expect to see rising star Anthony Gordon causing chaos for Chelsea’s defence on the left flank, while Alexander Isak remains the central focus in his striker role.

On the right wing, Jacob Murphy will likely have done enough last weekend to stop position competitors Miguel Almiron and Harvey Barnes from pushing him out of a start to complete Howe’s goal threat at Stamford Bridge.

With that being said, Newcastle should have enough experience and quality in their starting eleven to trouble Chelsea away from home this evening, and another three points will put the Magpies in a great position to challenge for a European qualification spot.

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