Newcastle United vs. Chelsea 1/18/20 English Premier League Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction
1/18/20 12:30 pm
Over 2.5 (-138), Under 2.5 (+110)
Newcastle United is hosting Chelsea at St James’ Park in part of round 23 of the English Premier League.
Newcastle hasn’t won any of their last 5 games, including their last 4 EPL matches. Newcastle was decent for most of the season, but thanks to this bad stretch, Newcastle is now dangerously dropping in the EPL standings. With 26 points, Newcastle is now in 13th place, just 5 points above the relegation zone. Newcastle has been struggling on both ends this season, but their defense has been catastrophic with 34 conceded goals. In the last 5 games, Newcastle has conceded 11 goals which are an average of just over 2 goals per game. In their last EPL game against Wolverhampton away from home last weekend, Newcastle had only 35% of ball possession, 1 shot on goal, 2 corner kicks, and low 75% of the correct passes. Newcastle has ended this match on the positive, with a 1-1 draw, and that was only thanks to Wolverhampton’s inefficiency in the attacking zone. Shelvey Jonjo is Newcastle’s top goalscorer with 5 goals and considering that he is the defensive midfielder, you can understand Newcastle’s struggles in the attacking part of the game. The bigger problem for Newcastle at the moment is the number of injuries in their roster with Lasceller, Saint-Maximin, Schar, Muto, Yedlin, Ki, Manquillo, and Shelvey all being injured and will not play. I think that Newcastle will stay safely outside the relegation zone because they have a solid team, and there are at least 5 or 6 other teams that are playing as bad as Newcastle is, some even worse.
Chelsea was struggling for a bit back in late November and December, but it seems they are back in the winning rhythm with 3 wins and 1 draw in their last 4 matches. During that stretch, Chelsea has scored 9 goals, while conceding only 2 goals. Chelsea is in 4th place in the EPL standings with 39 points, the last spot that leads to Champions League next season. Offensively, Chelsea is one of the best teams in England with massive 29 scored goals in 22 games, but their defense is something coach Lampard must fix as soon as possible. Chelsea is also playing in the Champions League Top 16 against Bayern Munich, and that should be a great and exciting matchup. In their last EPL game against Burnley, Chelsea had 65% of ball possession, 8 shots on goal, 10 corner kicks, and 84% of accurate passes. Chelsea was in control of this match from the beginning until the end and has won 3-0. Tammy Abraham has scored 13 goals so far this season for Chelsea and is expected to lead Chelsea’s offense once again in this game. Van Ginkel, Loftus-Cheek, and Pulisic are injured and will not be in the lineup. Chelsea is a young and one of the most talented teams in Europe, and their defense is slowly improving and gaining consistency, something Chelsea desperately needs. With a few more additions to the team, especially on the defensive ends, Chelsea will be one of the main competitors for the EPL title next season. I was never a fan of Chelsea in the past, especially during Mourinho era, but with the arrival of Lampard as the head coach this season, Chelsea is playing attractive soccer, creating a lot of chances, and doing something they rarely did in the past, scoring a lot of goals.
There is no way I will side with Newcastle in this bad form and all the injuries they have. It doesn’t matter that Newcastle is playing at home in this match, Chelsea is the better team here and Chelsea is playing in much better form.