Rafael Benitez says Newcastle are not the only team to park the bus at Stamford Bridge this season
Benitez will have to contend with a few absentees for the weekend clash, with Paul Dummett and Jonjo Shelvey ruled out and Kenedy unable to play against his parent club, Chelsea.
Mo Diame is also struggling with a fitness issue and is doubtful to play a part on Saturday and the former Liverpool manager claimed that Newcastle are not the only team to park the bus at Stamford Bridge this season, with other mid-table teams adopting a similar approach to negate Chelsea’s possession-based football.
Benitez also reflected on the 2-1 scoreline at St. James’ Park earlier in the season, saying that his team were really close to getting something from the game.
When asked his approach this time, Benitez told the Chronicle: “If you analyse what Chelsea are doing at the moment they have possession against he majority of the teams they have played, apart from Man City.
“So that means against a possession team you have to defend.
“When they have the pace and quality like that, you have to defend.
“If you remember the game at St James’ Park it was very close and they scored very late from a penalty.
“We could have done better with that too.
“We scored a well-worked goal and Joselu took his goal well.
“It wasn’t an amazing game that was offensive and expansive.
“The reality is you have to defend against a very good team. We went close to getting something.
“After that game, they won a lot of games in a row so it’s not like we were trying to be clever – we just analysed their team and our team that would allow us to stay in the game with the right tactics.”