Chelsea head north this weekend to face Newcastle United in the Premier League.

A clash of the cash-ladened owners, a victory for either side would be priceless.

For Thomas Tuchel, a win will keep them ahead of their close rivals in the race for top-flight authority.

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(Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Newcastle need some salvation to lift them from the jaws of relegation.

Certainly a mismatch on paper, but stranger things have happened in football.

Tuchel will be well aware that his group’s fate might change in an instant, hence why we expect a very strong Chelsea team sheet at St James’ Park.

Here’s our predicted XI for Saturday’s matchup with the Magpies:

Defence

The Blues fielded arguably the most inexperienced back-line available to them in the Carabao Cup against Southampton mid-week.

Anticipate the youthful talents to make way for the experienced campaigners.

Edouard Mendy takes over from penalty hero Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal, whilst Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva take Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah’s places.

Chelsea v Norwich City - Premier League
(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Andreas Christensen replaces Reece James, having sat out the spot-kick win on Wednesday after undergoing surgery on his tooth.

 

Hopefully the Dane won’t need dentures anytime soon…

Midfield

Another absentee that should return is Cesar Azpilicueta.

The skipper watched on from that stands whilst Chelsea defeated Southampton, recovering from a shoulder problem sustained in training.

Chelsea v Southampton - Carabao Cup Round of 16
(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Assume Azpilicueta will reclaim the right-wing back slot, with Ben Chilwell doing the same to Marcos Alonso on the opposite flank.

Jorginho is reinstalled in place of Saul Niguez, but Mateo Kovacic keeps his central midfield slot.

Attack

Thanks to Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku’s absences, Kai Havertz is surely going to remain as the leading centre-forward.

He scored against Malmo and Southampton through the middle, so why change it now?

Chelsea v Southampton - Carabao Cup Round of 16
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Callum Hudson-Odoi joins Havertz in attack over Ross Barkley, promoted from his wing-back slot versus the Saints.

Mason Mount makes up the forward trio, meaning Hakim Ziyech drops to the bench.

Predicted XI: Mendy; Rudiger, Silva, Christensen; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell; Mount, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi

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