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.

Newcastle United demanding release of midfielder from international duty

The playmaker was booked in the last few minutes of Paraguay’s 1-1 draw with Argentina in Buenos Aires on Thursday night, meaning he will miss the game next Tuesday.

However, Paraguay have not yet confirmed they will release the player, stating that they’d rather he stuck around with the group until after the Bolivia game.

Newcastle are keen to get their midfielder back ahead of their game against Chelsea next week, which is the early kick-off on Saturday, and will have been impressed with Almiron’s performance against Argentina.

The midfielder turned in a stunning performance to inspire his side, winning Paraguay the penalty which led to them taking the lead, and being one of the team’s main attacking focal points.

Steve Bruce will be hoping to get the best out of the former Atlanta United man, who has been struggling with his new midfield role in recent weeks.

Newcastle have injury worries in midfield with Ryan Fraser and Jonjo Shelvey sidelined , although they’ve been given a boost this week by the return to training of Matt Ritchie, who is coming back from a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the season.

Ritchie isn’t expected to be involved in the squad to face Chelsea, but Almiron will likely start, so long as his country allow him to leave to reduce the effects of jetlag.

Newcastle seal 2-1 Premier League win at home to Everton

His decision to drop Jordan Pickford dominated the pre match talk, but it will be his misfiring attackers that will be causing him sleepless nights as two goals for Callum Wilson secured three points for the hosts.

Neither side were able to create anything that resembled a goal scoring opportunity in a drab opening half hour on Tyneside.

The only real chance of the first half fell to Magpies talisman Allan Saint-Maximin, after he was sent clear by Wilson, but Toffees debutant Robin Olsen made a brave strop.

But, if the first half failed to catch fire, the second period kicked off with a huge moment of controversy.

Wilson was clipped by Andre Gomes inside the box, and despite any contact appearing accidental, the former Bournemouth man picked himself up and tucked home.

That breakthrough edged Newcastle into the ascendency at St. James’, as Sean Longstaff forced Olsen into another sprawling save.

And with the Blues unable to make any inroads in the closing minutes Bournemouth old boys Wilson and Ryan Fraser linked up inside the box as the England international slid home his eighth of the season.

Everton did conjour up a late consolation as Dominic Calvert-Lewin poked home past Karl Darlow but
Steve Bruce’s side had enough to hold on.

Full Time at St. James’ Park it’s Newcastle 2 Everton 1

Ryan Fraser keen for Newcastle challenge

The 26-year-old midfielder’s 35th-minute strike secured a somewhat fortunate 1-0 second round victory over Blackburn in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening, his first competitive action since March 7.

However, having watched from the bench as the Magpies won their league opener at West Ham on Saturday hours after his initiation to the squad, he is determined to give head coach Steve Bruce something to think about ahead of Sunday’s clash with Brighton and next week’s third round trip to League Two Morecambe.

Fraser told NUFC TV: “I didn’t actually expect to be on the bench at the weekend, I think it was three days I’d trained for, not played for seven months, so I didn’t really expect to be on the bench, but it was a good experience, being with the lads.

“I did my song the night before, which was brutal singing, but at the same time, it gets the atmosphere up, gets everyone laughing and a good spirit in the changing room and it was brilliant to see them winning.

“Look, now I’ve got 60 minutes under my belt, you never know what could happen at the weekend, if I come on, if I don’t come on. But we’ve got the game next Tuesday and hopefully I can get 90 minutes next Tuesday and then I’ll be wanting the manager to put me in when he can.

“Look, I’m a team player, if he wants me to come off the bench, I’ll come off the bench; if he wants me to start – which I want to do, start as many games as possible and score as many goals as possible and get as many assists as possible.”

Fraser’s goal came courtesy of a fine reverse pass from Paraguay international Miguel Almiron, one of the few pieces of real quality a Newcastle side featuring 10 changes from the weekend produced on the night.

The Scotland international said: “That’s why I made the run. If you don’t play with players like that, you probably stay wide and try to get the ball to feet and try to take somebody on.

“In training, he’s been looking for me as well. You just run through the middle of the pitch and you know a player like him will find you.”

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray was hugely disappointed to have left Tyneside on the wrong end of the scoreline, but was at least able to console himself with the capture of former Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala, which was confirmed in the run-up to kick-off.

Mowbray said: “Daniel has been in teams that have got out of this division twice in the last four or five years as a stick-on centre-half defender who heads it, can defend, puts his body on the line.

“I don’t think there are many better in this division and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle have announced forward Yoshinori Muto has moved to Eibar on a season-long loan deal.

The 28-year-old Japan international has scored two goals in 28 appearances for the Tyneside outfit since joining from Mainz in 2018.