Demba Ba returns to his former stomping ground on Saturday afternoon looking to lead Chelsea to a much needed Premier League win at St James Park. The Blues are desperate to bounce back from their mid-week collapse away to Reading but they will be challenged by a rejuvenated Newcastle side who picked up a moral boosting three points at Villa Park on Tuesday.
Chelsea may be the odds-on 10/11 favourites with Paddy Power but considering their jittery form of late under the unpopular Rafa Benitez Newcastle could prove to be the way to go at 3/1 to take all the spoils. However, consistency has been a problem for both teams in recent weeks making a draw a tempting bet at 13/5.
Chelsea had a January to forget after they were stunned at home by rock-bottom QPR, failed to hold onto two-goal leads against both Southampton and Reading, were held to a shock FA Cup draw at League One team Brentford and were surprisingly dumped out of the League Cup by Swansea. Their mixed league form means they are now a whopping 13 points behind leaders Man Utd and in real need of a spark in order to haul themselves back in the mix.
Similarly Newcastle endured a largely miserable month following disappointing defeats at home to Reading and Everton, an uninspiring goalless draw at Norwich and an embarrassing cup exit to Championship outfit Brighton. However, the Toon managed to bounce-back and snatch a valuable mid-week away to fellow strugglers Aston Villa, which was their first victory on the road this season.
One of the key talking points in the build-up to Saturday’s match is the return of Demba Ba. The former Toon favourite only recently departed St James’ Park after a very successful 18 months and, as is most often the case these days, he could easily come back to haunt his former club. The Senegalese striker has been installed as the 9/2 favourite in the first goalscorer market and 6/5 to score anytime, while he could well be worth backing at 9/4 to get a goal in a Chelsea win.
Chelsea have scored two goals in each of their last three league games and they have a number of players capable of getting on the scoresheet this weekend. The in-form Frank Lampard has banged in six goals since Christmas making him a worthwhile punt at 15/2 to open the scoring or 23/10 to score anytime. Juan Mata is available at the same price in both markets, while Fernando Torres has been handed odds of 7/4 to get his name on the scoresheet.
Chelsea have been pretty solid on the road this season with seven league victories under their belt and head into the match unbeaten in nine league and cup away games. This makes them a potentially fruitful bet at 17/2 to return to London with a 2-0 win, while they can be backed at 3/1 to win with three or four total goals in the match.
However, in recent weeks the Blues have taken first-half leads against the likes of Reading and Southampton, only to be pegged back in the second half. Paddypower are offering decent odds of 13/1 for Rafa’s men to be leading at the break on Saturday, only for the match to then end in a draw. Meanwhile there are odds of 10/1 for them to go ahead before the interval and fail to win.
In the last two Newcastle v Chelsea fixtures the clubs have traded 2-0 wins at Stamford Bridge, while the Blues thrashed the Toon Army 3-0 in last season's encounter at St James Park. The hosts don't have the best of records at home to their opponents, having failed to win any of the last five meetings.
In fact Newcastle's home form has stuttered in the last few months with five defeats from their last eight games. They go into the match on the back of consecutive home defeats to Reading and Everton but they will no doubt be buoyed by their crunch 2-1 win at Villa.
In all five of their home league wins this season Alan Pardew's men have opened the scoring and if they can do the same on Saturday they will give themselves a great chance of winning all three points. Papiss Cisse, who scored first against Villa, will be their main man in attack and he can be backed at 13/2 to repeat the feat against Chelsea, while Yoan Gouffran is available at 15/2. Meanwhile Yohan Cabaye has two goals in two games, making him an attractive bet at 5/1 to score anytime.
If Newcastle do win the match it is likely be by the skin of their teeth, with Paddy Power offering odds of 13/10 for the hosts to win by exactly one goal. However, a score draw at 7/2 is definitely worth backing, with a 2-2 scoreline available at 11/1.
Newcastle v Chelsea Form
Check the season's statistics for both Newcastle and Chelsea, plus the odds ahead of Saturday's match.
Newcastle Stats | Chelsea Stats
Newcastle v Chelsea Tips
Tip#1: Score draw @ 7/2 with Paddy Power
Tip#2: Demba Ba to score anytime @ 6/5 with Paddy Power
Tip#3: Yohan Cabaye to score anytime @ 5/1 with Paddy Power
Correct Score Odds
12/1 Newcastle 1-0
22/1 Newcastle 2-0
11/1 Newcastle 2-1
13/2 Chelsea 1-0
17/2 Chelsea 2-0
7/1 Chelsea 2-1
10/1 Draw 0-0
6/1 Draw 1-1
11/1 Draw 2-2
First Goalscorer Odds
9/2 Demba Ba
6/1 Fernando Torres
13/2 Papiss Cisse
15/2 Yoan Gouffran
15/2 Frank Lampard
15/2 Juan Mata
8/1 Victor Moses
8/1 Shola Ameobi
Odds supplied by Paddypower.com, who offer live in-play betting for all Premier League matches.
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