Eden Hazard (pictured) is quickly becoming the prince of Premier League football following another excellent display in Chelsea’s 4-2 victory against Reading in midweek.
Hazard is clearly going to be the biggest star on show when Chelsea welcome Newcastle to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening (17:30 GMT), which is surely one of the matches of the weekend.
The former Lille star arrived in England with a heavy price tag and the great weight of expectation, yet neither has been able to hold the Belgian superstar down. He is yet to bag a goal in English football, however, he’s well on the way to finishing with an impressive assists total, having landed himself three already.
The transition from the old guard at Chelsea and towards the younger new-look side is well under way. Fernando Torres is regaining his best form, while Juan Mata and Gary Cahill are taking up key roles in their respective areas on the pitch.
The worry for manager Roberto Di Matteo is that Chelsea can be vulnerable in defence. Allowing a promoted side, in Reading, to bag two goals at Stamford Bridge has to raise concerns.
Branislav Ivanovic found his way onto the score sheet for a second consecutive game for Chelsea. Surely it is worth taking a cheeky bet on the Serbian defender to land another goal against Newcastle, which is 4/1 at anytime with Bet365.
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard is an ever-reliable source of goals from the penalty spot. He has converted both of his spot kicks in the Premier League this season, with both being won by the trickery of Hazard in the opposition box.
Bet365 betting on Chelsea v Newcastle:
1/2 Chelsea, 10/3 Draw, 11/2 Newcastle
One of Chelsea’s latest signings, Oscar, recently stated that he would be well prepared for the rigors of Premier League football within a month. Like Hazard, the Brazilian has incredible confidence in his ability. His light frame should not be too much of a concern, as his greatest strength is his agility and technique to weave in and out of danger.
Will this game come too soon for the Olympic silver medalist? It appears that Di Matteo has a settled midfield, but their game in midweek could see a change in the form of the Brazilian international.
Newcastle will arrive at Stamford Bridge with every intention of grabbing all three points. At the very least, I expect them to put up a great fight against this talented Chelsea side.
Newcastle have strength all over the pitch, with Ajax’s Vurnon Anita coming in to bolster an already impressive midfield.
Hatem Ben Arfa will be one of the keys for Newcastle in this game. He was again excellent against Tottenham last weekend, winning his side a penalty with some clever play in the attacking third and converting to give Newcastle the 2-1 win.
He’ll be supporting the likely strike duo of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. Demba Ba again showed his worth to this team by grabbing the first goal against Spurs via an extremely well-taken volley.
Cisse was on the score sheet the last time these two sides met at Stamford Bridge with that magnificent strike from well beyond the zones of reason. I expect both Senegalese strikers to give Chelsea problems in this tie.
Pulling the strings for Newcastle will be Yohan Cabaye in the midfield. He’s likely to be partnered again by Cheick Tiote, despite the player picking up a knock in their last game.
Chelsea v Newcastle Betting Tips Verdict
The 1/2 favourites are Chelsea and it is hard to argue with that. Much of their joy in the attacking third will come through Eden Hazard, who is clearly displaying fearlessness in English football.
But backing Newcastle for a win is attractive and extremely possible. They have one of the best strike partnerships in the league, and very few sides can stop both Ba and Cisse. So our advised betting tips are: