UEFA Champions League

Newcastle United-Chelsea Preview

Eddie Howe says Newcastle United "massively over-achieved" by qualifying for the Champions League, as the Magpies boss looks to improve his squad for next season.

Newcastle secured a return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years by drawing 0-0 with struggling Leicester City last time out.

It has been a stunning turnaround for Newcastle, who began 2022 rock bottom in the Premier League.

But after a remarkable 17 months, Howe knows Newcastle - under their Saudi-backed ownership - will need to strengthen again ahead of next term, and hopes to make some "marquee" additions.

"Yes, there would be players we'd love to bring in that would be classified in that bracket, I'm sure," Howe said ahead of Newcastle's trip to Chelsea.

"For me, it's more about the role they can fulfill in the team - whether that's viewed positively or as a marquee signing, then great.

"I think we have massively over-achieved this year for where we were at the start of the season and to keep over-achieving - and that's what we're going to have to do to match the expectation - is going to be our biggest challenge."

It has been a dismal season for Chelsea, on the other hand. They lost 4-1 to Manchester United on Thursday, and interim boss Frank Lampard - who has won only one game since taking charge in April - said he has not learned anything in his temporary spell in charge.

"If you ask me what I have learned in this short period, in terms of coaching, not so much," Lampard told reporters.

"I've been in this situation as a player when you have an interim after a change of manager. A lot of the plus points you gain are about what is the team fighting for, can you find that extra bit? And we haven't found that as a collective, the results say so."

Chelsea - Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz has been one of Chelsea's small bright sparks this season. He has scored five league goals at home, and along with Raheem Sterling, is the only Blues player to net more than once at Stamford Bridge in the top flight this term.

Newcastle United - Kieran Trippier

Trippier has created 110 chances for his teammates in the Premier League this season - it is the most on record (since 2003-04) for a Newcastle player in the competition, and the second most by a defender after Leighton Baines in 2012-13 (116).

Chelsea are winless in their last seven home games in all competitions (D3 L4), their longest since a run of 10 between November 1987 and April 1988. The Blues have also failed to score in eight home games in all competitions this season, last failing in more in 1980-81 (nine).

Newcastle have won their final league match in seven of the last eight seasons, with the exception being a 3-1 home loss to Liverpool in 2019-20.

When finishing a Premier League season at home, Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 12 final day matches (W9 D3), since a 3-1 loss against Aston Villa in 2001-02.

Chelsea - 44.6%

Newcastle United - 26.7%

Draw - 28.7%

Updated May 26, 2023

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