Paul Merson states his prediction for Chelsea FC v Newcastle

The Arsenal legend is backing Chelsea FC to ease past Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday evening

Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri Photo: The Sport Review

Paul Merson is backing Chelsea FC to beat Newcastle United in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

The Blues will welcome their former manager Rafael Benitez and his Magpies side to west London in their first Premier League fixture since a stalemate with Southampton earlier this month.

Chelsea FC were unable to make the breakthrough against the Saints to offer Arsenal and Manchester United encouragement in the race to secure a top-four finish.

The west London side are sitting in fourth place and three points ahead of their bitter rivals Arsenal and Manchester United, but the latter have been on a five-game winning streak to put Chelsea FC under pressure.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is backing Chelsea FC to ease past Newcastle in their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

“Newcastle are right in the relegation mix,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“They rely on Salomon Rondon too much and they are struggling. I’ve watched Chelsea enough times this season and they are not ripping teams apart like they did at the start of the season, at times they don’t really look like scoring a goal.

“Chelsea need to score early in the first quarter of the game to avoid a difficult afternoon. I think they will, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended goalless.”

Chelsea FC have an impressive record against the Magpies at Stamford Bridge and have won the last six times they have hosted Newcastle in all competitions.

Sarri’s side were 2-1 winners against Newcastle in the reverse fixture earlier this season to give the Blues confidence of back-to-back wins against Benitez’s men.

Newcastle have dropped down to 15th place in the Premier League table after a disappointing run of results after some good form at the start of the festive schedule.

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