After earning a draw away to Cardiff City, last time out, but failing to grasp an opportunity to take all the three points on offer when Kenedy say his weak spot-kick saved, Newcastle United welcome Chelsea to St James Park this Sunday for a Premier League fixture.
The fixture is the first in a run of games that will also see Rafael Benitez lock horns with Manchester City and Arsenal, three tricky fixtures which could shape the early stages of our season.
As we start to focus on the clash with Chelsea, we have some early team-news from the Newcastle camp.
Kenedy, who had a shocking ninety-minutes last time out, is unable to participate as the rules state you can’t play against your parent club. Likely to deputise for the young Brazilian are either Christian Atsu or Jacob Murphy.
With regards to the Newcastle right-back, DeAndre Yedlin, the player is available for selection after limping off in our first fixture of the new season, against Tottenham Hotspur.
As far as Chelsea are concerned, they will be without their midfield star Cesc Fabregas, however, Eden Hazard is set to start his first game of the season for the London club.
Turning to the officials, the following have been appointed by the Premier League to take charge:
• Referee – Paul Tierrney
• Assistant Referee – Ian Hussin
• Assistant Referee – Darren Cann
• Fourth Official – Martin Atkinson
The fixture also sees Rafael Benitez face a club he has, previously, spent time at in a managerial capacity. Rafa was in charge of Chelsea when they beat Benfica to lift the Europa League.
Talking to the media ahead of the game and as reported by the BBC, Rafa had this to say:
“We are talking about one of the top sides. They have a good manager – I know Sarri well from his experience in Italy.
“The main factor for us is the attitude of the players – their work rate, their mentality. You have to try to win and try to win using the brain – not just the heart.”
It has all the prospects of being an entertaining game, but who is brave enough to predict the outcome?