Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Chelsea v Newcastle

The Liverpool legend is tipping Chelsea to edge to a narrow victory over Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: Screen grab

Mark Lawrenson is backing Chelsea to edge to narrow win over Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

The defending Premier League champions will welcome their former manager Rafael Benitez to Stamford Bridge in the weekend’s early kick-off.

Chelsea have won five of their last six games in the Premier League to get their ailing title bid back on track despite trailing leaders Manchester City by nine points.

The west London side have beaten Watford, West Brom, Bournemouth and Swansea City during their current run, while Antonio Conte’s side impressed during a 1-0 win over title rivals Manchester United at Stamford Bridge at the end of October.

Liverpool managed to hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Anfield last weekend after Willian cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s opener on Merseyside to protect the defending champions’ unbeaten run.

The Blues will take on a Newcastle side that managed to avoid a fifth straight Premier League defeat mid-week after the Magpies rescued a 2-2 draw with West Brom.

Former Liverpool defender Lawrenson is confident Chelsea will pick up three points against Newcastle and put some pressure on Manchester City ahead of their home clash with West Ham.

“I was impressed by the way Newcastle came from 2-0 down to get a point against West Brom on Tuesday – especially because the Magpies had lost their previous four games,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“Rafa Benitez’s side will feel like they won that game, but following that by getting something at Stamford Bridge will be a huge ask.

“Chelsea did not play well against Swansea on Wednesday but they still got the win in the end, against a side who defend in numbers.

“I think they will do the same on Saturday too.”

Chelsea can momentarily move level on points with second-placed Manchester United before the Red Devils face Arsenal in Saturday’s late game.

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