With the second international break now completed, Premier League fans can rejoice once again as club football returns this weekend. The increased risk of injury and players catching COVID-19 made the already annoying international break just that little bit more unbearable.
However, the wait is over, and we won’t have to suffer another international break until March!
Chelsea kick things off this weekend in the early kick-off as they play visitors to Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.
It’s another strange decision to schedule a game at 12:30pm when a vast majority of Chelsea’s players have been on international duty with some only arriving back in England in the last couple of days.
The Big Wigs Agree; The EPL Schedule is Bonkers
Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have been major critics of the Premier League schedule this season and Frank Lampard echoed his colleagues’ thoughts on the schedule and put forth the question on how important the early kick-off games are in the Premier League.
“I have to be honest with it and I will be honest with it,” Lampard added. “If you’re talking about any team in the Premier League, we’ve been training with four players generally in the last two weeks, so the majority of our squad have been travelling.
“Some are travelling and just landing now. They will travel again to fly up to Newcastle. They will travel back from Newcastle. They will fly to Rennes on Monday. They will fly back from Rennes.
“When you look at the scheduling, for me, it’s just a common sense factor. I don’t think the broadcasters have ever had as many slots for games as they have now. That 12.30pm slot, how much does it need to be there?”
Chelsea will be without Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Thiago Silva as they look to continue their good form in the Premier League. They’ve lost just once this season and have gone six games unbeaten in the league so far.
Chelsea Betting Prediction against a Mediocre Newcastle Side
Chelsea have lost just once this season in all competitions as it looks as if they’ve hit their stride this season, but constant injury troubles could lead them down a path where playing a consistent first XI could be a difficulty for Frank Lampard.
They’ve won their last two games 3-0 and 4-1 against Burnley and Sheffield United, respectively with three clean sheets in their last five games.
They can however go top of the table with a win against a Newcastle side who’ve suffered their fair share of ups and downs this season.
The Magpies sit 13th in the league with three wins, three losses and two draws. The biggest problem Newcastle have is consistency. In each of their three wins this season, they followed it up with a loss, giving them no chance to build any type of momentum.
Newcastle are a team that can shock and surprise you week after week and I think they get a draw at home against Chelsea, bouncing back from their 2-0 defeat to Southampton before the international break.
Sportsbooks odds on a Chelsea win open at -222. Odds on a Newcastle win open at +550. Odds on a draw between the two sides open at +375.