Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel believes Newcastle United will soon be Premier League title contenders following their lucrative takeover.
The long-awaited change of ownership at Newcastle was approved by the Premier League on October 7 after it received “legally binding assurances” the club would not be controlled by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) took an 80 per cent stake in the club, ending Mike Ashley’s 14-year ownership, while Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers’ RB Sports & Media each took on 10 per cent.
There have been concerns over the separation between Saudi Arabia and its PIF, while the Premier League has also fielded significant criticism over its approval of the deal, particularly with regards to Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record.
Tuchel was asked about the takeover ahead of leaders Chelsea’s clash with Brentford on Saturday.
“It’s normal to have concerns. But we trust the Premier League and they have accepted – they are the authorities in this case,” Tuchel told reporters.
“This is a fact now that they allowed it, they have new owners, the new owners seem to be very promising for the fans and for a famous club here in England.”
Tuchel added: “It seems that we have a new competitor for titles and for places in the top ranking, and this is what we are here for. We are playing in the toughest league, and it seems to get tougher.”
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Chelsea have won each of their last six away London derbies in the Premier League and could become the first team in English Football League history (top-four tiers) to win seven such games in a row if they beat Brentford.
Champions League holders Chelsea have lost just one of their 12 Premier League away games under Tuchel (W8 D3), having lost four of their last five on the road under Frank Lampard. The Blues have kept six clean sheets in this run, shipping seven goals in total.
Chelsea have the best shot-conversion rate in the Premier League this season (15.3 per cent), as well as the best difference between goals scored (15), and expected goals (11.8 – plus-3.2). At the other end meanwhile, they have the best difference between goals conceded (three) and expected goals against (8.6) in the league this term (5.6).
Timo Werner heads into the fixture having scored a brace in Germany’s 4-0 World Cup qualifying rout of North Macedonia on Monday.
Werner scored his first goal in 10 Premier League games against Southampton last time out. The German has only scored in consecutive league appearances once for the Blues, doing so in November 2020.
“With strikers you feel sometimes that it is a little bit like this, that you keep them on the pitch and you keep the momentum going, but it is actually not only with strikers,” he said. “It is about the actual form. It is about confidence – it is about the actual moment.
“We have so many games normally we cannot wait for players to re-find their full potential. Normally we want to have these guys on the pitch who are actually in shape, who have confidence and a certain momentum.”
“What we have to reflect on is Timo was not here, so he had a very good match, he scored the late winner against Southampton, that should give him a lot of confidence,” Tuchel added. “But that was two weeks ago.
“Today we showed some pictures from the Southampton game, it feels a bit weird because this game is so long ago and the guys played three other matches in between, but it was our last match and we showed certain behaviours from the match and we want to reintroduce and to reconnect with that feeling. It is not that easy.
“For him it is the same. He needs to restart tomorrow and when he gets the chance to start give the same kind of performance than against Southampton and from there we go.”
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