Talking Points

Crunch time for Chelsea. A win at Newcastle is needed on the last day of the Premier League season to give them any chance of survival.

Antonio Conte’s side will need fourth-placed Liverpool to slip up in their respective match but Chelsea will still need to do their bit at St James’ Park. Luckily for the Blues, the Magpies seem to be on the beach with their Premier League survival already confirmed.

However, with Rafa Benitez in charge, the Spaniard will be demanding his team end the season on a high, with a top-ten finish on the cards.

With the final game of the 2017/18 season now days away, here are the three Newcastle players who will be the most threat to Chelsea:

#1 Jonjo Shelvey

On his day, Jonjo Shelvey can be one of the most threatening midfielders in the league. Despite a couple of discipline issues during the early part of the season, the former Liverpool has shown maturity on the pitch during the second half of the campaign. Shelvey will be hoping he can earn a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of their trip to Russia, so he will be looking to end the season on a high. If Chelsea leave space in behind their defence then Shelvey does have the capabilities of picking out a pass and starting a threatening move from his own half.

#2 Matt Ritchie

The Scotsman will bring pace and directness from the wide areas. Ritchie has played a key part in Newcastle’s survival this season, and just like Shelvey, he will be hoping to end the season on a high. Ritchie has the capabilities of testing the keeper from distance and being dangerous from set-plays. The former Bournemouth player will be more of a threat on the counter-attack, so stopping him from taking the ball into the final third is a must.

#3 Mo Diame

A powerful and hardworking midfielder, who has built a strong partnership with Shelvey at the heart of Newcastle’s midfield. Diame produced a Man of the Match display as Benitez’ side lost 1-0 at Tottenham on Wednesday night. Despite the defeat, the Magpies produced a worthy performance and they could have left Wembley with a point had they taken their chances. During that match, Diame nullified Spurs’ attack, in particular, playmaker Christian Eriksen. With Chelsea needing their attackers to fire at all cylinders on Sunday afternoon, Diame will be looking to stop them from causing any damage.