Frank Lampard's side would jump from fifth to first with victory in the opening match of gameweek nine, but they have struggled at this venue in recent seasons.
Chelsea have won five of their last seven Premier League meetings with Newcastle, but have only won one of their last seven top-flight trips to St James' Park - losing five times in that spell, including a last-gasp defeat in the corresponding fixture in 2019-20.
This has been something of a bogey ground for the Blues in recent years, then, so while the form book and league position suggest the visitors should be favourites, it will nonetheless be a good test of Chelsea's title credentials.
An unpredictable start to the season has seemingly opened the door to a team other than Liverpool or Manchester City launching a title challenge, and Chelsea's consistency prior to the international break would appear to put them right at the front of the queue.
Lampard's side have won their last four games on the bounce by an aggregate score of 14-1 and, while another victory this weekend would likely only see them move top for a short time, it would be another valuable three points for a team which has now fixed the imbalance that affected their form at the start of the campaign.
Chelsea are now unbeaten in six Premier League games and eight across all competitions, all the while tightening things up at the back and increasing their attacking threat at the other end of the pitch.
Indeed, the Blues are now the league's leading scorers with 20 goals from their eight outings, including four last time out against struggling Sheffield United.
That league-leading goal tally is one they will expect to improve against a Newcastle side without a clean sheet since the opening day of the season - a seven-game streak which makes for their longest such run since December 2017.
Coupled with a league-low number of shots on target this season, that is a statistic which will worry Steve Bruce - although 11 points from their opening eight games is a solid return and an improvement on the same stage of last term.
The Magpies have picked up wins over West Ham United, Burnley and Everton this season, in addition to taking points off Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers, but their form has been the very picture of inconsistency so far.
Newcastle are yet to record the same result - be that a win, draw or defeat - in two successive games this season, so far alternating from win to loss to draw in a three-game cycle; for that to continue this weekend they would need to share the spoils with Chelsea.
It is a similar story at home, where Newcastle have won four, drawn four and lost four of their last 12 Premier League games, although two victories from their last three is as many as they had managed in their previous 11 at St James' Park.
Indeed, Bruce's side could record back-to-back home league wins for the first time since December 2019 and, given their recent record when hosting Chelsea, they have reason to believe they can achieve that.
Newcastle United Premier League form: DWLDWL
Newcastle United form (all competitions): WWLDWL
Chelsea Premier League form: DWDDWW
Chelsea form (all competitions): DDWWWW
Kai Havertz has now recovered from coronavirus and is back in training, although he is unlikely to go straight back into the starting lineup as he instead focuses on building up match fitness following two weeks in isolation.
Lampard also revealed in his pre-match press conference that Saturday's match will come too soon for Christian Pulisic, who is still sidelined by a hamstring injury.
Thiago Silva is also expected to miss the trip up to Tyneside having only landed back in England on Thursday afternoon following his Brazil exploits during the international break.
Chelsea are more optimistic regarding the fitness of Ben Chilwell, who suffered a back problem while away with England but was deemed fit enough for a place on the bench against Iceland on Wednesday.
Timo Werner is expected to start again having scored seven goals and laid on two more in his last seven appearances across all competitions.
Indeed, the summer signing could become the first Chelsea player to score in five successive games since Didier Drogba in November 2009, and only the fourth German player to score in three consecutive Premier League outings.
Hakim Ziyech also began to find form before the international break, scoring once and registering three assists in his two Premier League starts to date.
The Magpies could also be without Callum Wilson, who avoided a serious hamstring injury prior to the international break but still faces a race against time for this one and may not be risked ahead of the busy period coming up.
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Darlow; Murphy, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis; Hendrick, Hayden, S Longstaff; Joelinton, Saint-Maximin
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; James, Zouma, Rudiger, Chilwell; Kovacic, Kante, Mount; Ziyech, Abraham, Werner
We say: Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea
Chelsea may have struggled at St James' Park in recent years, but everything seems to be pointing in their direction for this match, including the form book, the league table and Newcastle's lengthy injury list.
The Magpies at full strength may have fancied themselves to pick up at least a point in this match, but with the hosts missing some key players we are backing the Blues to come out on top.
Top betting tip
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