Things have not been great for Chelsea this season, to put it mildly. We’re not in Europe and we’re rooted to mid table in the league. We’re looking down at the relegation zone more than up to the European places at the moment, despite a billion spent.
Our one chance of glory remains in the EFL Cup, where some fortunate draws have led us to the quarter-final next midweek against Newcastle United.
They are a strong team, but the game is at Stamford Bridge rather than at St James’ Park, which gives us a chance at least.
But whether you’re looking to get tickets to the game or just buying a stream online, you can expect an interesting match. Newcastle are a far better team than us, as they proved in our league game a couple of weeks ago. But they’re looking increasingly shattered by their European schedule, and they picked up some more crushing injuries today against Fulham, with both Fabian Schar and Joelinton leaving the game hurt.
Eddie Howe has some big decisions to make, given the all round fatigue and injury situation. Does he put it all on the line in the game against us, or does he weaken his team and effectively throw the game in order to keep their strength for a league campaign which they will be desperate to conclude with at the very least a Champions League spot. With Manchester City dropping points once again today, Newcastle shouldn’t be ruling themselves out of a title race either, if they can just find the form they were in earlier this season.
Most positively of all for Chelsea in terms of our line up – it might be Christopher Nkunku time at last. The Frenchman was on the bench for today’s game against Sheffield United, but from what we could tell, his presence was more as a sort of morale lifting gesture than anything else. Mauricio Pochettino admitted after the game that he was relieved to not have to use him at all.
Don’t expect him to play too many minutes against the Magpies, but we’re almost certain that this will be his competitive debut for us, most likely as a second half sub.
Let’s hope by the time he’s on we’re a couple of goals up against a weakened Newcastle, and cruising to victory and a first semi final under Pochettino… is that too much to ask?