Saturday 10th January 15.00

Stamford Bridge

Even the very best football sides have a bogey team; that one club that always seems to get the upper hand despite the relative gap in quality between the two. In Chelsea’s case this bogey team is Newcastle United, and the Magpies head to Stamford Bridge on Saturday intent on extending their incredible run against the Londoners.
In their past six head-to-head encounters, Newcastle have won four – a barely plausible record but one that shows the Geordies have no fear of playing the Blues. They’ve already defeated Jose Mourinho’s men once this season too, and smashed his team’s unbeaten record in the process too. Indeed, they’re only one of two teams to have beaten Chelsea all season.
So can Newcastle do it again on Saturday? It’s a tall order, so let’s take a look at the stats and see if we can find any value.
Looking at the form and goals stats it’s hard to recommend Newcastle in this encounter. Chelsea have won their five out of their last five at the Bridge, and despite their 3-5 hammering at the hands of Spurs at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day their form remains strong.
Newcastle, on the other hand, are going through something of a rocky patch, and will not be helped by injuries to key players or the loss of former gaffer Alan Pardew. Their away form is particularly poor too:
Chelsea (last five at home): W-W-W-W-W
Newcastle (last five away): W-L-D-L-L

Chelsea tend to dominate games on their own soil, and this is reflected in their goal stats. They score an average of 2.4 goals per game, and have only conceded three in the whole of the 2014/15 at their own manor.
In stark contrast Newcastle are leakier on the road than a second-hand fridge….and find goals hard to come by themselves too:
Chelsea: Avg Goals Scored Per Game 2.4, Avg Goals Conceded Per Game 0.3
Newcastle: Avg Goals Scored Per Game 0.9, Avg Goals Conceded Per Game 1.7
Average Margins: Chelsea +2.1, Newcastle -0.8
Under/Over 2.5 Goals: Chelsea 55.6%/44.4%, Newcastle 50%/50%
*Time of First Goal: Chelsea 27 mins, Newcastle 25 mins*
Taking all of this in consideration, back Chelsea to win 2-0 from 5/1. If you’re placing an acca then Chelsea -1 can be backed from 1/2.
Averages for/against:
Chelsea – 7.6/3.7 = average margin of +3.9
Newcastle – 4.7/5.5 = average margin of -0.8
Under/Over 10.5 Corners:
Chelsea – 33.3%/66.7% (average per match = 11.2)
Newcastle – 50%/50% (average per match = 10.2)
So take the Over 10.5 in the corners market in this one, but do so with caution.
Here is a quick look at the cards stats for the two sides:
Booking Points For/Against (Avg per Game)
Chelsea – 12.2/24.4
Newcastle – 25/16
Under/Over 35.5 Points
Chelsea – 66.7%/33.3%
Newcastle – 40%/60%
First Card
Chelsea – 22.2%
Newcastle – 70%
If you’re determined to have a flutter in the cards market then take the Under 35.5 – but do so with extreme caution. If you want a tastier flutter then back Newcastle to get the first card of the game.
The pick of the punts here are:
Diego Costa, with nine goals in ten Premier League games at home this campaign – three of which were the first of the game, three the last of the game – can be backed from 12/5 (8/15 Anytime).
Also, Chelsea to win and Diego Costa to score anytime from 4/6.
Eden Hazard has bagged six at the Bridge; with three of those the first strike of the game and three the last. Fancy the Belgian to repeat the dose? Take the 4/1.
Also, Chelsea to win and Eden Hazard to score first is 9/2 (Evens anytime).
But if you fancy Newcastle to lay waste to all of the evidence outlined above and continue their good record against the Blues, you can get a whopping 12/1 on them to win by any scoreline.


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