With the international break upon us, the whole of Tyneside is holding their breath in anticipation for next week's make or break trip to Stamford Bridge. That's right, on Saturday the 19th, our beloved Magpies will do battle against an in-form Chelsea in a match we are all hoping will mark the turning point in Newcastle United's 2019/2020 season with StormGain.
So how do the sides stack up?
Ask anyone in black and white how we've started this campaign and they'll all tell you they expected more. There have been flashes of brilliance and episodes of real quality, but we've struggled to convert them into points on the board and currently find ourselves just one point off the relegation places. Chelsea by contrast have come out of the blocks charging and – with 4 wins from their last 5 games in all competitions – goal difference is all that separates them from the Champions' League spots. The head-to-heads don’t make for pleasant reading either, with the West Londoners winning 16 of the clubs’ 30 meetings including all of the last 4.
But can we come away with the points?
Nobody can deny it, the NUFC of today is a far cry from the mid-table outfit of years gone by. During the summer transfer window Newcastle United made a clear statement of intent with impressive signings such as Krafth, Carroll and 40 million-pound Joelinton, and you can be sure Steve Bruce will have his sights set on a top five finish come May. It’s still early doors in the league and this game could be the perfect opportunity for the Toon to get back to winning ways with an emphatic victory over a really strong opponent. Provided our back line remains solid, we can definitely edge it on the day.
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