Premier League pundits are backing Chelsea to get the job done over Newcastle on Sunday when the Magpies head to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
Eddie Howe – recently crowned as the top-flight’s manager of the month for February – has helped push Newcastle ten points clear of the relegation zone heading into this afternoon’s clash.
The North-East club beat Southampton at St Mary’s on Thursday night to back up impressive wins against Brighton and Brentford, with the next challenge being a trip to face Thomas Tuchel’s title-chasing Chelsea.
Pundits have been tasked with predicting the final score of today’s game, though the majority do not hold out much hope at all for Howe’s men on their travels.
Mark Lawrenson – BBC Sport
First up is BBC prediction regular Mark Lawrenson, who thinks that despite Newcastle’s recent up-turn in form there will only be one winner today.
“Newcastle have got some breathing space above the bottom three because of their run of results in the past few weeks but I don’t see Eddie Howe letting his side take their foot off the pedal,” he told BBC Sport.
“All it would take is a run of two or three defeats and they could be right back in trouble. The Magpies are not going to win every week, but maintaining their performance levels is important. I still think Chelsea will win but I’d be surprised if Newcastle play poorly after all the positive work they have done.”
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
Paul Merson – sportskeeda
Meanwhile, in his column with sportskeeda, Paul Merson said: “I’m going to be at this game, and I think Chelsea should be able to win. Newcastle beat Southampton this week, and I think that’s it for them – they should be safe in the Premier League now. Chelsea beat Norwich and that’s it for them too – they should make it to the top four.
“Chelsea are in a bit of a situation at the moment. Rudiger’s gone anyway – you don’t refuse to sign a contract and lose eighty grand a week for nothing. When players don’t sign contracts, you can take it for granted that they’ll leave more often than not. Where can you take Chelsea from here? They’re the champions of Europe and they’ve won everything. Whoever buys Chelsea at this point will probably just lose money. They’ll have to start selling players – if they can get their money back for Timo Werner, they’ll probably sell him too.
“Newcastle have been absolutely outstanding to do what they’ve done in the Premier League so far, but I’m going to go with a comfortable Chelsea win. To be fair, I’d probably predict the same result if this fixture was taking place a year from now.”
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United
Michael Owen – BetVictor
Former Magpies striker Michael Owen is also backing a Chelsea victory in west London today but expects Howe’s side to at least get on the scoresheet.
“It’s clearly been a strange and difficult week for Chelsea off the pitch but on it, they took care of business against Norwich,” he told BetVictor.
“I really like the way Kai Havertz has been playing of late. He’s becoming the key man for this team in attack. He links the play, makes some great runs, and has started scoring regularly.
“Things keep getting better for Newcastle. That win over Southampton was huge and leaves them on the verge of safety. Bruno Guimaraes arrived with a big reputation and price tag, but he showed glimpses of it on Wednesday. He hasn’t featured too much, but that back-heeled finish was sublime! Newcastle have shown so much improvement, and they’ll give Chelsea a game here. I still think Chelsea will have too much though, 2-1 to Chelsea.”
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle United
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David Seaman – Seaman Says
Finally, on his own podcast ‘Seaman Says’, former England goalkeeper David Seaman thinks the Blues will have too much quality for their visitors today.
He said: “As much as Newcastle are coming off the back of good performances and good results, I still feel Chelsea are going to have way too much. I’m going to go for 2-0 Chelsea.”
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United