Chelsea FC hosts Newcastle United on Sunday in a matchup of two clubs going in opposite directions. For Chelsea, this will end up being their worst finish in the league since 1993-94.
For Newcastle, they’ve earned their first Champions League berth since the 2002-03 season. Amazing, when you consider how they’ve spent the past five seasons on the second page of the standings, and they were relegated as recently as 2015-16.
Chelsea FC vs Newcastle United FYIs
Kick: Championship Sunday, 4:30PM, Stamford Bridge, London.
Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go here
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Premier League Position: Chelsea 12th, Newcastle 4th
Form Guide: Chelsea LLDWL Newcastle DWDLW
Google Result Probability: Chelsea 34% Newcastle 39% Draw 27%
Not much of anything…okay, actually, truly nothing is on the line in this one. That is unless you think the chance to finish third, instead of fourth, really means something.
Team News for Both Sides
Mateo Kovacic is the only Chelsea player here who has an availability status that is actually in doubt for this one.
Meanwhile the following Blues are all long shut down for the season:
N’Golo Kante (groin), Reece James (thigh), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Marc Cucurella (thigh), Mason Mount (groin), Armando Broja (ACL) and Benoit Badiashile (groin).
Fitting, as over the past few months it looked like the team itself as a whole shut down operations for the remainder.
Let’s shift gears to the Magpies now. Joelinton, who was a last minute scratch against Leicester City due to a knock, will face a late assessment ahead of kickoff.
Meanwhile Joe Willock isn’t expected to feature against this term after suffering a hamstring/thigh injury against Brighton.
Finally, the following five will not feature here:
Nick Pope (finger), Ryan Fraser (exiled after falling out with manager Eddie Howe), Matt Ritchie (knee), Jamaal Lascelles (calf), Emil Krafth (knee)
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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