May 11, 2018

Newcastle v. Chelsea Preview  (Sky Sports)

Newcastle v. ChelseaChelsea are still in the race for the top four as they travel to Newcastle live on Sky Sports, but will need other results to go their way.

The Blues missed the chance to go level on points with Liverpool - currently occupying fourth spot - when they drew 1-1 with Huddersfield on Wednesday, and will be aiming for maximum points at St James' Park.

But they will need to rely on Brighton beating Liverpool at Anfield, as the Reds have a far superior goal difference, with a draw or win for Jurgen Klopp's side guaranteeing them fourth place over Chelsea.

Asked whether Champions League qualification is more important to him than winning the FA Cup, Conte said: "In this moment we have to try to reach both targets.

"It's not easy because the situation for a place in the Champions League is not in our hands, but we have to try to get three points against Newcastle and then to hope for something positive for us. Right now we must be focused on the league to try to finish in the best possible way."

For Newcastle, they could slip down to as low as 15th in the table from their current position of tenth if they suffer a defeat and other teams around them pick up points.

But the Magpies are unbeaten in their last four home Premier League games against Chelsea, scoring at least twice in each match (W3 D1).

Team news

Thibaut Courtois is expected to be fit to feature for Chelsea after missing Wednesday's game with a back injury.

Olivier Giroud and forward Eden Hazard are among those likely to be restored to the starting line-up, but David Luiz (knee) and Ethan Ampadu (ankle) are out.

Rafa Benitez will be without loan signings Kenedy and Islam Slimani for the game. Kenedy is ineligible to face his parent club and Slimani has returned to Leicester after being suspended for the final three games of the campaign.

Defender Ciaran Clark and midfielder Christian Atsu are both still out with knee injuries.

Opta stats

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last four Premier League meetings with Newcastle (W3 D1), netting 12 goals in the process.

This will be the third time these sides have met on the final day of a Premier League campaign - only Chelsea vs Everton has been played more often as a final fixture in the competition (4).

Newcastle have been shown more red cards on the final day of a Premier League campaign than any other side (7), including Aleksandar Mitrovic being sent off in their most recent such match (vs Spurs in 2015-16).

Chelsea are responsible for the biggest closing day victory in Premier League history, beating Wigan 8-0 to secure the title in 2009-10.

The Magpies have conceded just six goals in their last 10 Premier League home games, and never more than once in a match in that time.

Rafael Benitez has yet to win a Premier League game against a club he used to manage, drawing three and losing one against Liverpool, and losing against Chelsea in the reverse fixture (1-3).

Merson's predictions

It's all about the FA Cup final now for Chelsea, isn't it?

They have to win, Liverpool have to lose but I don't see it happening. Let's be honest, they've messed it up. I just don't think Chelsea will be at the races. I think they'll be more focused on the final.


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