Jamaal Lascelles: 'Newcastle United must keep Rafael Benitez happy'

Jamaal Lascelles: 'Newcastle United must keep Rafael Benitez happy'

The Blues could only manage a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town during the midweek, and now they find themselves a couple of points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

Now three points behind Liverpool, who are in 4, Chelsea need a win to keep their hopes alive and will also need Liverpool to lose, if they are to qualify for the Champions League next season.

For the home side, they should be fully healthy going into the final day of the season. However, Chelsea still have the FA Cup final against Manchester United coming up, and they would be keen to extend their unbeaten run on Sunday.

Merino, who arrived from Bundesliga giants Dortmund in the summer, has made 24 league appearances for the Magpies this season. After touching the 40-point mark, Newcastle have lost four games on the bounce.

Newcastle's 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in midweek all but ruined Chelsea's hopes of a top four finish, but the hosts will be hoping to finish the job on Sunday.

They now occupy the tenth position with 41 points, and it can be argued that Rafa Benitez has done a decent with the Magpies this season.

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"It would be just like Chelsea to put in a silky performance this week, but they have not done that often enough this season".

Chelsea FC won the Premier League title last season to secure top-flight glory in Conte's first season in charge of the west London outfit.

Six of last seven meetings between these two sides in all competitions have ended with over 2.5 goals. Kenedy will be the only player to miss out as he is ineligible to play against his parent club, Chelsea. Thibaut Courtois will likely miss out as he did in the week due to a back problem, while Danny Drinkwater and David Luiz continue their spell on the sidelines with long-term injuries.

Chelsea are favourites to win at their best odds of 13/20 at BetVictor.

Benitez - who signed the player during his tenure at Anfield - believes the 26-year-old, who has won six caps for his country, would be a useful option for Gareth Southgate to have in his 23-man party for Russian Federation. The hard work starts for them this summer; keeping and therefore backing Benitez must be high on the agenda.

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