Eddie Howe makes Newcastle United versus Chelsea prediction after Roman Abramovich sanctions

Chelsea are currently in a major state of flux - but Eddie Howe doesn’t expect that to have any bearing on this afternoon’s result.

Newcastle United head to Stamford Bridge at the end of a week where the eyes of the footballing world have been on the European and world champions.

Russian owner Roman Abramovich saw his assets frozen by the UK government in light of his connections to Vladimir Putin.

The West London outfit have been given a special license to continue to play matches, however the operations of the club will be severely limited.

Ticket and merchandise sales cannot now be processed, although Stamford Bridge will be at full capacity today with tickets sold prior to the sanctions.

The Premier League announced on Saturday that Abramovich had been disqualified as a director at Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel, the manager of Chelsea, has been bombarded with questions surrounding the club’s off-field situation.

However, Howe believes Tuchel and his players, who won 4-1 at Norwich City on Thursday, will be more than prepared to take on Newcastle.

“I am only going to answer in terms of a football perspective and I don’t think it will have any bearing on how Chelsea play,” said Howe.

“And for us, you can’t change the preparation.

“I have been watching Chelsea historically and we are putting together a game plan to try and go there to win. I don’t expect this game to be any different.”

The Magpies will extend their unbeaten league run to 10 matches if they avoid defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Howe, as a manager, has a strong record at the Bridge, winning three of his five visits.

The Newcastle head coach said: “I think it is a very special place to play football.

“I have enjoyed three of those games, of the five, but didn’t enjoy the other two very much!

“It is a very special place. They have top players, the stadium is close to the pitch, a great atmosphere and they have got a top manager, I have a huge amount of respect for Thomas - I think he has done an incredible job.

“We are going to be at our very, very best. We know the size of the task. It is a game where you have to get everything right.”