Chelsea will be hoping they can continue the momentum build prior to the international break ahead of the Premier League returning this weekend. The Blues, having faced Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City in the last four weeks, face another tough test with a trip to Newcastle United on Saturday.
A win for the visitors will take them one point behind Newcastle with Eddie Howe having a number of players unavailable for the clash. Alongside the injury crisis, Lewis Hall will not be able to feature against his parent club with Callum Wilson and Sven Botman among the big names out.
As for Chelsea, Mauricio Pochettino could welcome back as many as four stars from injury with Christopher Nkunku the marquee name heading up that list. The France international has been training at Cobham over the last two weeks alongside Romeo Lavia as the two new signings eye their competitive debut for the west Londoners.
Many stars returning appears to have come at the perfect time with Chelsea in the midst of a challenging fixture run-in as they still sit 10 points off Tottenham who occupy the final spot in the top four. With that said, football.london has taken a look at the fixtures that await Chelsea and their rivals in the lead up to the busy Christmas period.
Newcastle United (A) - November 25
Chelsea return from a two-week break with arguably one of the toughest fixtures possible away to Newcastle. At St James Park, the Magpies have already defeated Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Manchester City which highlights the size of the challenge facing Pochettino and his players this weekend.
Bournemouth beat an injury-hit Newcastle before the international break and that will have certainly given Chelsea further confidence of securing a positive result. Despite concerns, Kieran Trippier will be fit for the clash and to give Howe another boost, both Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak have recovered from their own issues to be available for selection.
Brighton (H) - December 3
Chelsea have already faced Brighton twice in the last few months with the Blues winning the pre-season encounter and the Carabao Cup tie. Roberto De Zerbi's side, following a stellar 2022/23 campaign, have struggled to follow up with their mixed start seemingly affected by a European campaign.
The Seagulls head to Stamford Bridge off the back of a Europa League game having picked up just four points from a possible 12 after a mid-week fixture which certainly suggests Chelsea will be favourites.
Manchester United (A) - December 6
To the surprise of many, Chelsea are actually still below Manchester United in the Premier League table. Erik ten Hag's side have struggled significantly for consistent form this season with injuries playing a large part.
Like Chelsea, the Red Devils have had better success away from home in recent months with wins over Burnley, Sheffield United and Fulham coming this season. Given results for Crystal Palace, Newcastle United and others at Old Trafford this season, Chelsea will certainly fancy their chances up north.
Everton (A) - December 10
A trip to Goodison Park was always seen as a challenging fixture, but that was before Everton were docked 10 points for a financial fair play breach. The Toffees are now in the relegation zone but will certainly fancy their chances of still staying up following positive results away to Brentford, Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Given they will likely feel as the though the world is now against them, Sean Dyche's side will certainly use that fuel to throw absolutely everything at all opponents that make the trip to Merseyside for the remainder of the season.
Sheffield United (H) - December 16
The end of Chelsea's run of challenging games appears to be met in mid-December with newly-promoted side Sheffield United heading to Stamford Bridge. While on paper, three points appears an easily attainable figure, away from home the Blades have caused Tottenham and Brighton problems while also nearly taking points off Manchester City at Brammall Lane.
Nottingham Forest, Brentford and Aston Villa have all won in west London this season and Sheffield United doing the same cannot be ruled out especially with Chelsea often struggling to get beyond teams deploying a low block which Sheffield United will undoubtedly do.
Man United next five fixtures
Everton (A) - November 25
Newcastle (A) - December 2
Chelsea (H) - December 6
Bournemouth (H) - December 9
Liverpool (A) - December 17
Newcastlenext five fixtures
Chelsea (H) - November 25
Manchester United (H) - December 2
Everton (A) - December 7
Tottenham (A) - December 10
Fulham (H) - December 16
Tottenham next five fixtures
Aston Villa (H) - Sunday, November 26
Manchester City (A) - Sunday, December 3
West Ham (H) - Thursday, December 7
Newcastle United (H) - Sunday, December 10
Nottingham Forest (A) - Friday, December 15
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