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

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The Blues have one last chance to secure Champions League qualification, but they rank as outsiders going into the final round of Premier League games

Chelsea must beat Newcastle at St James' Park on Sunday and hope that Liverpool lose at home to Brighton in order to qualify for next season's Champions League.

As they require assistance from one of the Premier League's bottom-half teams, Chelsea rank as huge outsiders to finish in the top four - with a midweek draw at home to Huddersfield having done little to aid their cause.

Newcastle, meanwhile, are safe from relegation but will want to go out on a high after a positive season back among the elite. Ex-Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez will be hoping to consign his former club to the Europa League, which he won while in charge of the Blues back in 2013.


Chelsea injuries


Thibaut Courtois returns as Antonio Conte announced that he is back in training after recovering from injury.

Alvaro Morata is available again but takes his place on the bench after starting a meeting with Huddersfield on Wednesday. However, David Luiz is likely to miss the season finale with a knee problem.

Danny Drinkwater is back in training, but he has missed over two months of football with a calf strain, so he sits out this game. Ethan Ampadu remains out for the season with a broken ankle.

Chelsea are thought to have no other fitness concerns.


Chelsea suspensions


Chelsea have no suspensions to contend with.


Confirmed Chelsea starting line-up


Confirmed Chelsea line-up vs Newcastle: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Barkley, Kante, Bakayoko, Emerson; Hazard, Giroud.

Bench: Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Willian, Pedro, Morata.

Conte rotated his tired side in the aftermath of a vital victory over Liverpool, but that led to a backlash from many fans after the Blues were unable to overcome Huddersfield.

Ross Barkley makes just his second Premier League appearance for Conte's side and is the biggest surprise, partnering Bakayoko and N'Golo Kante in the centre of midfield as Conte increasingly favours a 3-5-2 formation.

Belgian duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, Gary Cahill, Victor Moses and Olivier Giroud all come back in, too.

Willian and N'Golo Kante won Chelsea's Players' Player of the Year and Fan's Player of the Year awards in a ceremony at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, but the former starts the game from the bench while the France star keeps his place in midfield.


Newcastle team news


Confirmed Newcastle line-up vs Chelsea: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejuene, Dummet, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Murphy, Perez, Gayle,

Bench: Darlow, Manquillo, Haidara, Gamez, Hayden, Merino, Joselu

Chelsea loanee Kenedy misses the match due to the terms of an agreement between his parent club and Newcastle. Islam Slimani is suspended after an off-the-ball incident against West Brom which saw him kick Craig Dawson. He has since returned from his loan spell on Tyneside to Leicester.

Former Chelsea man Christian Atsu is absent with a knock, but Jesus Gamez makes the bench as he nurses an ankle injury.


TV channel & kick-off time


All 10 matches on the final weekend of the Premier League season will kick off at 15:00 GMT on Sunday afternoon. 


Best Opta match facts


  • Newcastle are unbeaten in their last four home Premier League games against Chelsea, scoring at least twice in each match (W3 D1).

  • Chelsea are responsible for the biggest closing day victory in Premier League history, beating Wigan 8-0 to secure the title in 2009-10.

  • After a run of three successive away defeats, Chelsea have won their last three Premier League games on the road, each by a one-goal margin.

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  • Rafael Benitez has yet to win a Premier League game against a club he used to manage, drawing three and losing one against Liverpool, and losing against Chelsea in the reverse fixture (1-3).

  • Olivier Giroud has scored eight goals in nine Premier League appearances against Newcastle, more than he has vs any other opponent.

 

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