Published: Sun, August 26, 2018
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

[Teams] Newcastle vs Chelsea: Confirmed Line-Ups From St James' Park

[Teams] Newcastle vs Chelsea: Confirmed Line-Ups From St James' Park

Maurizio Sarri expects further defensive problems to flare up at Chelsea as he retrains his players to "defend by looking at the ball, not the man" but is confident he has a squad capable of adopting his approach.

Chelsea travel to Tyneside on Sunday to face Newcastle United in the Premier League and will be hoping for a better performance than their 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the Magpies in the corresponding fixture a year ago.

Eden Hazard starts for Chelsea at St James' Park, as does recent signing Mateo Kovacic.

DeAndre Yedlin's late own goal preserved Chelsea's ideal start to the new Premier League season as stubborn Newcastle saw a point snatched from their grasp.

The 32-year-old, who now earns wages in the region of £85,000-a-week, was not even part of the 18-man squad for our opening two fixtures of the Premier League campaign.

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Eyebrows were raised before kick-off when Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles' name did not appear on the teamsheet amid reports of a training ground disagreement with his manager, although when asked about the defender's absence in a pre-match television interview, Benitez responded: "We have enough centre-backs, that's it".

However, while the Blues have picked up maximum points and impressed doing so, there is no doubt Sarri will have to find a way to get Hazard back in his team. If you defend by looking only at the ball, you can stay very high up the pitch. I think it's easier for the offensive players. In Chelsea's case, however, he reckoned it would take them two months only to adapt since the team had lots of intelligent players. In the other way you depend on the movements of the opponent.

"I don't know [about compromise]".

"I have to say thank you to Rafa because when I arrived in Naples I had a feeling the team was nearly ready to play my football", he said. They called me 40 days ago - I think it's because they wanted my football here. "And I think that, if the team enjoy the game, they've have a lot of opportunities to win the match".

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