Chelsea take to the road for the first time in four games, leaving the friendly confines of Stamford Bridge on the longest domestic journey of the year, up north of the wall to Newcastle, where the sky’s still low and the top of the stands still a massively high climb.
It’s a place where we’ve won just twice in the last ten years. So while on paper this should be another (relatively) easy game against a winless team flirting with relegation and under interim management, it’s likely to be anything but.
Fortunately, we have gotten a bit of a fitness boost ahead of this, with Andreas Christensen, César Azpilicueta, N’Golo Kanté, and even Christian Pulisic returning to training today. While Pulisic is unlikely to be in match shape after a nearly two-month absence, the other three should be ready to rotate in if deemed necessary.
Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, and evidently Ruben Loftus-Cheek as well remain out — Loftus-Cheek’s hip injury preventing him from re-joining training as yet.