Best Odds: 8/15
Chelsea shot themselves in the foot with a home draw against Huddersfield and their Champions League qualification hopes now hang by a thread ahead of the final Premier League match at Newcastle.
Newcastle United have endured a difficult season in the Premier League. Even though their top tier status is assured, the Magpies head into the final match of the season with plenty to fight for.
Rafa Benitez’s men currently sit in 10th but could end up sliding as low as 15th if other results do not go their way on Sunday. Such a scenario will seemingly make a little difference but could have a huge effect on the club’s budget. Newcastle look set to pocket £21.3 million in merit payments for their 10th place whereas significant repercussions – worth £8 million – could hit the club in case of a lower finish. Once a huge club competing for silverware in the Premier League is going through financial dire straits at the moment. Mike Ashley promised that Rafa Benitez would be able to use all the money club generates on boosting the squad for next season and that’s why the money talk is currently ahead of the sports angle of the forthcoming clash.
Christian Atsu is struggling with a knee injury whereas his fellow forward Islam Slimani is suspended for the match.
Defender Ciaran Clark is a major selection doubt due to his knee issue.
Not only did last season’s Premier League champions Chelsea failed to mount a more serious domestic challenge this term, they are left fearing for their Champions League qualification.
A season outside the Europe’s elite club competition would be a serious blow for Blues who can only hope for the best on the final day of the season. A 1-1 home draw against Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night left Chelsea out of the top four, two points adrift of Liverpool. Antonio Conte’s men need to win and hope Liverpool would lose to Brighton at home in order to avoid Europa League football next term. Antonio Conte is under great pressure and missing out on the Champions League could cost him his job. The Italian endured a difficult time at Stamford Bridge this year and could end up being just another in line of Roman Abramovich’s victims this summer.
Danny Drinkwater is still recovering from his calf injury, whereas David Luiz’s knee injury is still keeping him sidelined.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has experienced some back problems and his appearance in the final match of the season has come under a doubt.
Key Factors to Consider
- Newcastle are on a four-match losing streak
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 7 matches in all competitions
- Magpies lost only two of their last 10 matches
- Chelsea failed to win all of their last four trips to Newcastle
- Three or more goals were scored in last 4 meetings between these two sides
Both Newcastle and Chelsea have plenty to fight for on the last day of the Premier League 2017/18 season. Visitors are definitely under a bigger pressure with their Champions League qualification resting in Liverpool’s hands. Everything Blues can do at this point is try to win and hope for the best.
Best Odds: 8/15
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