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Kovacic to start ahead of Ross Barkley? – Predicted 4-3-3 Chelsea XI to face Newcastle United

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Predicted Chelsea XI to face Newcastle United in the Premier League

Chelsea suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final after a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup.

The Blues played out a disappointing 0-0 draw against Southampton in their previous Premier League outing and Maurizio Sarri’s side will be desperate get back to winning ways when they play host to Newcastle United on Saturday.

Rafael Benitez’s men have been in poor form of late during the festive period and the onus will be on the Magpies to get something out from this game.

Team News

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ruled out with a Lower back problem while Alvaro Morata is doubtful to play a part as the Spaniard continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Apart from that, Sarri is expected to have the entire squad of players at his disposal.

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Manager: Maurizio Sarri

Formation : 4-3-3

Predicted XI

1. Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK)

The Spaniard didn’t have a lot to do in the Carabao Cup game and he has always been a reliable presence between the sticks.

2. Cesar Azpilicueta (RB)

He has been solid for large quarters of the season and has been a regular at the back for the Blues.

3. David Luiz (CB)

The Brazilian was rested for the Carabao Cup tie but he will be expected to return to the line up against Newcastle.

4. Antonio Rudiger (CB)

The German international didn’t do much wrong in the defeat against Spurs and has been one of the standout performers at the back this season.

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5. Marcos Alonso (LB)

He has been well below-par this season and Chelsea will need a lot more from him in both halves of the pitch.

6. Jorginho (CDM)

He has dictated the play very well with his flawless passing but Chelsea will need him to show a bit more purpose in the attacking third to break Newcastle down.

7. N’Golo Kante (RAM)

The Frenchman has gradually adapted to his new attacking role under Sarri and he will be expected to continue his good work.

8. Mateo Kovacic (LAM)

Ross Barkley didn’t make much of an impact against Spurs so Sarri is likely to hand the Croatian a start on Saturday.

9. Willian (LW)

The Brazilian has a good game in the Carabao Cup against Spurs and will be expected to start at the weekend.

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10. Pedro (RW)

The Spaniard didn’t start against Spurs but he should replace Hudson-Odoi for the Premier League fixture.

11. Eden Hazard (ST)

Chelsea will need their indispensable weapon in the final third to fire on all cylinders if they are to have any chance of coming away with three points.

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