Paul Merson explains why Chelsea will find it ‘harder’ v Newcastle United

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson looks ahead to Saturday’s Premier League clash between Newcastle United and Chelsea.

Former Arsenal attacker Paul Merson has backed Chelsea to get the better of Newcastle United away from home on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s side will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run in the Premier League against a resurgent Magpies side at St. James’ Park.

Chelsea will be without the suspended defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic, but Merson claims that the Blues will return to London with all three points.

"I think Chelsea will carry on where they left off the other day when they beat Tottenham 3-0," the 46-year-old wrote on

"It will be harder without Nemanja Matic but Newcastle have a lot of players out, and that means I can’t see past the Blues getting another win and extending their lead at the top."

On paper Chelsea should win against Newcastle even away from home, but it will be interesting to see how they cope without Matic.

The 26-year-old has been arguably the best in his position in the Premier League so far this season and has been one of the most important players in the Chelsea team.

However, Chelsea coped without star striker Diego Costa against Tottenham Hotspur in midweek - they won 3-0 - and one suspects that Mourinho will come up with a plan to compensate for the loss of Matic.

Newcastle will not be easy pushovers as Alan Pardew’s side have looked very good in defence in recent matches, but a Chelsea defeat does not appear very likely.

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