Premier League: Newcastle United vs Chelsea

Both sides are feeling the effects of the break though, with injuries and fatigue from travelling set to affect both managers’ team selections.

Steve Bruce is unlikely to be able to call upon Miguel Almiron from the start after he only arrived back from Paraguay on Thursday night, roughly the same time as Thiago Silva landed after being part of Brazil’s World Cup Qualifying campaign.

At 36, Silva is set to miss out as Chelsea embark on three games in seven days, meaning Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen could partner Kurt Zouma at the back for the Blues.

Newcastle have had Jonjo Shelvey back in training for the past few days after a hernia operation, although he’s unlikely to start the game as he regains match fitness, and Ryan Fraser is also out after missing Scotland’s qualification for Euro 2020 with a thigh issue.

There’s better news on Callum Wilson though, who Steve Bruce says is desperate to play after coming off with a hamstring worry in the 2-0 defeat to Southampton before the break. The Magpies boss says if there is a risk with his fitness he won’t play, but has looked comfortable in training for the past few days.

Matt Ritchie could make his return to the squad after a shoulder injury picked up earlier this season, but Paul Dummett remains unavailable despite returning to training over a fortnight ago. Dwight Gayle and Martin Dubravka are both still missing also, with the goalkeeper hopeful of returning before Christmas.

With injuries aplenty, you’d think Bruce would be in favour of the five-sub rule coming into effect like it has in the Football League, but he has explained that he’s not in favour of the rule change, saying he doesn’t think fatigue is the real reason players are picking up injuries.

He went on to explain that he thinks it’s the amount of games being played so quickly that’s the problem. Sounds like something five subs could help with if you ask us Steve…

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard confirmed on Thursday that Christian Pulisic remains out for the trip to Newcastle, despite stepping up his training after a hamstring injury. Kai Havertz is also likely to miss out after only rejoining training late in the week after self-isolating at home for two weeks as a result of exposure to COVID-19.

Ben Chilwell missed England’s win over Iceland with a back injury, but should be fit to start against Newcastle, while Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and N’Golo Kante all came through international games comfortably and will be involved again.

Chelsea will go top of the Premier League table with a win at St James’ Park, ahead of Tottenham vs Man City later on Saturday, and Leicester’s game against Liverpool on Sunday night.

Newcastle will be hoping to repeat last season’s result against the Blues though, when Isaac Hayden’s late header earned them a 1-0 win.

Newcastle United take on Chelsea at St James’ Park on Saturday, November 21st. Kick-off is at 12.30pm.

Transfer Round Up: Manchester United edge closer to Sancho deal.

Time is running out as the transfer window nears its closure, but there’s still time for more business to be done in the Premier League.

Manchester United are reportedly closing in on the signing of Jadon Sancho. It’s the transfer saga that’s rumbled on all summer, with Borussia Dortmund and United struggling to agree on a fee for the player with the reds refusing to match the Germans £120m valuation. But transfer guru Fabrizio Romano is saying personal terms have been agreed and the clubs are inching closer to a deal that COULD be finalised this weekend.

West Ham fans are crying out for transfer news but this may not be what they had in mind. West Ham ITK @ExWhuEmployee reporting that the club are currently talking to midfielder Jack Wilshere about terminating his £100k a week contract. The former Arsenal man has made just 16 appearances in two years for the Hammers, who are desperate to free up cash for new recruits.

Across London Chelsea are keen to hang onto N’Golo Kante amongst interest from Inter Milan. The Guardian is reporting that the Italians are tabling a bid that includes Croatian international Marcelo Brozovic but Lampard is keen to hold onto the former Leicester City man.

Gonzalo Higuain (32) will NOT be coming to the Premier League this season! The Argentinian was released by Juventus at the end of last season and was available on a free transfer but it would seem that David Beckham has won the battle for his signature and the former Real Madrid forward will be living the high life in Florida with Inter Miami next season.

Chelsea facing summer overhaul, Kante for sale claim reports

The Blues’ domestic season ended in disappointment on Saturday, losing the FA Cup final to Arsenal at Wembley.

Despite cup final heartache, the future looks bright for Frank Lampard’s side with additions such as Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech to feature next season.

Chelsea are also closing in on a deal for Bayern Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, who has been outstanding in the German Bundesliga this season.

However, additions to the squad means that some players will need to depart Stamford Bridge, and The Times claim that as many as 8 first team stars could leave the club.

The names mentioned include Tiemoue Bakayoko, who has spent the season on loan at Monaco, Ross Barkley, Marcos Alonso, Emerson, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Michy Batshuayi.

Unsurprisingly, Willian and Pedro are also doubts to be involved in 2020/21, with Lampard claiming in Willian’s case the ball is in his court.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga may also be shown the Stamford Bridge exit door after just two seasons at the club and a world-record price tag.

Perhaps the most surprising inclusion on The Times’ list of Chelsea players available for transfer is N’Golo Kante.

The France international has struggled with injuries this season, and arguably hasn’t performed as consistently for the Blues since before Maurizio Sarri was Chelsea manager.

Despite this, Kante is world class on his day, and it would take a decent offer to prise him away from the Bridge.