Why Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles believes Chelsea will bring out best in his side
Captain Jamaal Lascelles says Newcastle United 'fancy themselves' against Chelsea at St James's Park.
Rafa Benitez’s side have taken one point from their first two Premier League games.
Chelsea have taken maximum points from their two fixtures, and Maurizio Sarri’s side are odds-on favourites to claim a third successive win on Sunday. But Lascelles believes his team-mates will be up to the challenge.
Chelsea, then managed by Antonio Conte, were beaten 3-0 at St James’s Park on the final day of last season, and Lascelles believes that Newcastle’s fans can roar the team on to another result.
“These games have tended to bring out the best in us, especially in the last couple of years,” said Lascelles.
“Also, in the last couple of seasons, how we’ve reacted to disappointment has been really impressive as well.
“Chelsea at home, we’ll fancy ourselves. We beat them 3-0 at home last year.
“That’s in the past, but we know what they’re about, our fans will be right behind us, and we’re raring to go.
“Hopefully, we’ll get some more points on the board.”
Benitez, without defender Florian Lejeune for at least four months, is already having to contend with injuries, while United’s manager will be without the suspended Isaac Hayden for the next three games.
Benitez was without right-back DeAndre Yedlin at Cardiff while Javier Manquillo also hobbled off at the break.
On-loan winger Kenedy – who had a late penalty saved and was fortunate not to be sent off for kicking out at Victor Camarasa – is ineligible to play against Chelsea, his parent club.
Lascelles is likely to line line up alongside Ciaran Clark again on Sunday despite Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez being signed by Rafa Benitez in the summer.
He added: “We’ve got the two new lads still to come in, so there’s a lot of competition in the defensive areas.”