Newcastle v Chelsea Saturday 6th December, 12.45
St James Park 
Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off sees the Premier League’s two most in-form teams – Newcastle United and Chelsea – square off at St James Park.
Alan Pardew’s men – despite losing to West Ham at the weekend – will be full of festive cheer after going on an unbeaten six game run prior to their defeat to the Hammers. Indeed, if they can claim the three points against Jose Mourinho’s Blues – and other results go their way – they can sneak into the Champions League places. Not bad for a side who, just a matter of weeks ago, were in the relegation zone.
Chelsea continue to steamroller their way through the 2014/15 campaign, and despite Saturday’s dour nil-nil with Sunderland they will remain optimistic heading into the often tricky Christmas period. Mind you, they’ll need a better performance in the North east this time out with Man City continuing to chip away at their lead at the top.
The form guide throws up quite an interesting statistic: Both Newcastle (home) and Chelsea (away) are unbeaten in their last five games, so surely something’s got to give.

Goals, Goals, Goals?
Both these teams have attacking talent that can lighten up even the dullest of games. But their defences are tight too – as the stats suggest:
Newcastle: Average goals per game = 1.3, Average goals against = 1.2.
Chelsea: Average goals per game = 2.1, Average goals against = 1.1.
So when we average these out we have a predicted scoreline of Newcastle 1.2 v Chelsea 1.65. A word of caution though: Newcastle have averaged Under 2.5 goals in 66.75% of their games this season, and Chelsea have done likewise in 42.9%.
Predicted scoreline: Newcastle 1 v 2 Chelsea
Average totals this season:
Newcastle: Corners for = 8.5, Corners against = 4.2. Average total per match = 12.7.
Chelsea: Corners for = 4.6, Corners against = 5.7. Average total per match = 10.3.
From these statistics, you’d expect Newcastle to win the Most Corners then, with a clear advantage of 2.4 per game. You could even take them in the -2.5 Handicap market if you’re feeling plucky, but certainly give serious thought to Over 10.5 Corners in the game.
These two teams are set-up in similar ways: a nice balance of creative and destructive players. Neither team is afraid to put a foot in, as the cards stats testify:
Newcastle: For = 12 Yellow/0 Red, with an average points tally per game of 20 for and 31.7 against.
Chelsea: For = 21 Yellow/2 Red, with an average points tally per game of 38.6 for and 30 against.
With both teams scoring highly in the Over 35.5 Points averages (Newcastle 83.3% and Chelsea 85.7%), you can expect there to be more cards than Clintons at Christmas here.
Last Five Games at St James’ Park (most recent first):

Newcastle United 2 v 0 Chelsea

Newcastle United 3 v 2 Chelsea

Newcastle United 0 v 3 Chelsea

Newcastle United 1 v 1 Chelsea

Newcastle United 0 v 2 Chelsea

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