The Blues tonight continue their pre-season preparations in the United States against one of the top-flight’s biggest new threats as the Premier League Summer Series continues in Atlanta. Mauricio Pochettino has kicked off his spell in charge with entertaining wins over Wrexham and Brighton across the Atlantic, but the manager will be looking for more from his players tonight.
Chelsea expect Newcastle, who hand a first start to teenage midfielder Lewis Miley but are without new signing Harvey Barnes and Bruno Guimaraes, to be a strong rival for Champions League qualification next season and both teams can lay down an early marker here. Reece James starts for Chelsea tonight as captain after illness and a precautionary scan on his knee meant he joined up with the squad late in America, while Trevoh Chalobah is also back after an Achilles issue.
Mykhailo Mudryk and Nicolas Jackson impressed in attack against Brighton and will look to do so again tonight with less than two weeks to go until the new league season begins against Liverpool. Follow Newcastle vs Chelsea live below, featuring expert insight and analysis from Nizaar Kinsella at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Nizaar Kinsella at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Here are more pre-match thoughts from Nizaar Kinsella, with just 10 minutes to go until kick-off at the hugely impressive Mercedes-Benz Stadium…
Standard Sport’s Nizaar Kinsella at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Chelsea supporters in this stunning Atlanta arena will get to see Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson link up for the first time, and with Mykhailo Mudryk also in the attack.
It feels like these three could start on the opening day against Liverpool, given their pre-season form.
Bashir Humphreys and Cesare Casadei are the two chosen ones in terms of youth in the Chelsea team and Reece James plays his first match since 18 April.
Lewis Miley makes first Newcastle start
It’s a strong Newcastle team too, with Sven Botman, Dan Burn, Joelinton and Anthony Gordon all coming into the starting XI after the 3-3 draw with Aston Villa, along with 17-year-old midfielder Lewis Miley, who makes his first Toon start.
Nick Pope is back on the bench after finger surgery, but there’s no Bruno Guimaraes, Harvey Barnes, Joe Willock or Sean Longstaff.
No Jamal Lewis or Karl Darlow either, with their respective exits from Newcastle apparently imminent.
It’s a juicy lineup from Eddie Howe no doubt, but not too much on the bench it must be said.
Reece James starts and captains Chelsea tonight
So Reece James is back in the starting XI and possesses the captain’s armband for Chelsea tonight.
He replaces Malo Gusto at right-back, with Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill and Ben Chilwell making way for the fit-again Trevoh Chalobah, young Bashir Humphreys and Marc Cucurella in a new-look backline.
Andrey Santos, Carney Chukwuemeka, Conor Gallagher and Raheem Sterling are replaced by Enzo Fernandez, Cesare Casadei, Mykhailo Mudryk and Nicolas Jackson.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Christopher Nkunku and Ian Maatsen all retain their starting places.
Pope, Gillespie, Ashby, Savage, J Miley, Turner-Cooke, Murphy, Parkinson
Slonina, Bergstrom, Gusto, Silva, Colwill, Gilchrist, Chilwell, Gallagher, Chukwuemeka, Santos, Hall, Sterling, Angelo, Moreira, Burstow
Newcastle XI: Dubravka, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Joelinton, Tonali, L Miley, Almiron, Gordon, Isak
Chelsea XI: Kepa, James, Chalobah, Humphreys, Cucurella, Fernandez, Casadei, Maatsen, Mudryk, Jackson, Nkunku
Official team news on the way
We should be getting word of the official team news from Atlanta any minute now.