Chelsea team news: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Newcastle

6:30 AM GMT 26/08/2018
Maurizio Sarri and Eden Hazard Chelsea
The Blues will hope to continue their strong start to the 2018-19 campaign as they head north to St James' Park to face the Magpies

Chelsea have begun their season with two wins in their last two games and prepare to take on Newcastle United on Sunday, who have yet to win a Premier League match this season.

Maurizio Sarri's side have most recently overcome their rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge and they have taken impressively to their new manager's more attack minded style of play.

Meanwhile, Newcastle will likely be battling relegation again this season and have begun their season with a loss at home to Tottenham and a draw away at Cardiff City.

Chelsea injuries

Cesc Fabregas is still a major doubt to face Newcastle United as he recovers from what Sarri describes as an 'unusual injury' from just below his knee.

He was injured in the pre-season game against Arsenal last month, but he tried to play though the problem against Manchester City in the Community Shield.

Tammy Abraham is also a doubt but is unlikely to feature anyway, amid rumours of Aston Villa being interested in securing him on loan and with Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud ahead of him in the pecking order.

PSV loan star Marco van Ginkel is back at Chelsea, but he has torn his anterior cruciate ligament and is unlikely to play any part this season.

Chelsea suspensions

Chelsea have no suspensions to contend with carried over from last season.

Chelsea potential starting line-up

Sarri has had some success in his 4-3-3 system but he remains dissatisfied with his team's defending since taking over. However, it looks unlikely that personnel changes will be used to overcome these issues. 

Eden Hazard was left on the bench for the opening two games as he took part in the latter stages of the World Cup. Sarri hinted that Hazard could finally start in the match against Newcastle after Saturday's 3-2 win over the Gunners, which would see either Pedro or Willian drop to the bench.

Mateo Kovacic looked good in his cameo appearance against Arsenal and Sarri might be tempted to start him, with Ross Barkley looking most likely to come out for the new loan signing from Real Madrid.

Further changes look unlikely, with Sarri only having one game-a-week at the moment and not being known for heavy rotation in his teams.

Newcastle team news

Kenedy has avoided retrospective action for his kick on Victor Camarasa in the 0-0 draw with Cardiff last weekend. However, he is still out of the match against Chelsea due to the terms of his loan deal.

Isaac Hayden is suspended for three games after his tackle was deemed to have been dangerous in the same match. Newcastle have further absentees in defence with Florian Lejeune out for the long term with a knee injury.

DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo are minor doubts but battling to be fit in time for the game at St James' Park.

TV channel & kick-off time

The game kicks off at 4pm BST (11am ET) on Sunday and it will be shown on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom or NBC Sports in the United States.

Best Opta match facts

  • Newcastle United have won four of their last five home Premier League matches against Chelsea (D1), winning 3-0 on the final day of the 2017-18 campaign.

  • Chelsea have lost 11 away Premier League games against Newcastle United, only losing more against Arsenal (12) and Liverpool (13).

  • Maurizio Sarri could become the fifth Chelsea manager to win his opening three Premier League games in charge of the club after Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti, Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho.

  • Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 110 Premier League goals (69 goals, 41 assists) – only Frank Lampard (237) and Didier Drogba (159) have had a hand in more goals for Chelsea in the competition

  • Seven of Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata’s 12 Premier League goals have been assisted by Spanish compratiot Cesar Azpilicueta (58.3%). The only player to have a higher share of his Premier League goals assisted by a single player is Ken Monkou (min. 10 goals), with 60% of his 10 Premier League goals assisted by Matt Le Tissier.