Given Jose Mourinho’s rotten road record against Newcastle, it would have been little surprise if his Barcelona toppling Real Madrid side had been turned over at St James’ Park.
This season things seemed destined to be different but Chelsea’s were once again downed by their manager’s nemeses – Mourinho’s sixth league visit without success.
With four wins for the Tynesiders during that sequence, it’s as one-sided a record as a club could wish for against one of the game’s most feted brains.
However, Newcastle have every right to be fearful of a Blue backlash at Stamford Bridge, where their record against the Portuguese tactician is abominable.
Chelsea are 1/5 favourites for victory, with their visitors a 27/2 for all three points that seems bizarrely lengthy until their record against Mourinho in London is elucidated.
The managerless Magpies have never notched a goal in six all-competition visits to John Terry and friends’ capital stronghold under the two-time Champions League winner’s tutelage, losing on every occasion.
While struggling in vain to find the net they were stuck with a hefty 17 strikes by their inhospitable hosts, an average of just shy of three a game.
Backing Chelsea to win to nil at 18/25 is a tempting ploy as a result and not just because of the historical evidence on offer.
The Blues have allowed just two strikes past Thibaut Courtois in their last ten outings on home turf.
All ten of those games were won, eight coming with the extra credit of a clean sheet.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have mustered a modest three strikes in their last five away days, with African Cup of Nations holiday maker Papiss Cisse responsible for the lion’s share of those.
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