Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce says he expects a tough match against Chelsea and their ‘world-class’ boss Thomas Tuchel.
The Magpies are still 10 points above 18th-placed Fulham at the moment, but still, they are just one place above the relegation zone.
And they will have a big task at Stamford Bridge on Monday to steal at least a point from in-form Chelsea.
The Blues, on the other hand, certainly do not want to miss the opportunity to overtake fourth-placed Liverpool.
The momentum is in their favour after four wins in five since under Tuchel — it is very clear, even to Bruce.
“A new manager comes in with a world-class reputation,” the Newcastle boss said ahead of tomorrow’s clash (via Chronicle Live).
“And they have changed, they have gone to a different system.
“They’re playing three at the back with wing-backs, whether that’s going to be his way forward, only time will tell.
“But that is certainly what he has implemented straight away.
“Whoever you are up against as a coach, you know that Chelsea will have good players.
“It’s right across the board, and we have a big and tough week ahead.”
Interestingly, Bruce insisted that his team is not going back to playing very defensive following recent success with a less conservative approach.
“I don’t think the approach is going to be any different,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’ve decided this is the way forward for us, so we’ll keep the same thing we’ve been trying to achieve.”
While Bruce said they would stick with the new approach, it is very unlikely that he would set up his team for an open game against Chelsea, particularly without Callum Wilson.
Saying the 28-year-old instrumental to Newcastle this season would be an understatement considering he was directly involved (10 goals and five assists) in 60 percent of their goals this season (25).
Obviously, they still have the likes of Miguel Almiron and new loan signing Joe Willock who could hurt Chelsea, but Wilson’s absence will likely influence Bruce’s plans.