BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson believes Chelsea have enough quality to overcome Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic’s absences at Newcastle United on Saturday.
While the Blues head into the game with four wins out of their last four games in all competitions, the home team had to wait for a couple of weeks for an opportunity to bounce back from the disappointing 2-0 loss against Southampton prior to the international break.
Point-wise, there isn’t exactly a big gap between Steve Bruce’s men and Chelsea at the moment – they have 11 points to Chelsea’s 15.
But former Liverpool defender Lawrenson, the difference in form will see Chelsea secure the three points at St James’ Park as he predicted a 2-0 win for the away side.
“Newcastle will be awkward, perhaps even more so than usual, after their non-performance in their defeat at Southampton last time out,” he told BBC Sport.
“Frank Lampard’s side were just hitting their stride before the international break, especially in attack – they created so many chances in their win over Sheffield United.
“Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz are out of this game but that would still allow the Blues to name pretty much the same team that beat the Blades.
“At the back, Thiago Silva is a doubt because he has only just got back from international duty, but I’d still expect Chelsea to win comfortably.”