Jamaal Lascelles says Newcastle United “fancy themselves” against Chelsea at St James’s Park.
Rafa Benitez’s side have taken one point from their first two Premier League games.
Chelsea, linked with a move for Lascelles in the summer, have taken maximum points from their two fixtures, and Maurizio Sarri’s side are odds-on favourites to claim a third successive win on Sunday.
But United captain Lascelles believes his team-mates will be up to the challenge.
Chelsea, then managed by Antonio Conte, were beaten 3-0 at St James’s Park on the final day of last season, and Lascelles believes that Newcastle’s fans can roar the team on to another result.
“These games have tended to bring out the best in us, especially in the last couple of years,” said Lascelles.
Chelsea at home, we’ll fancy ourselves. We beat them 3-0 at home last year. That’s in the past, but we know what they’re about, our fans will be right behind us, and we’re raring to go.Jamaal Lascelles
“Also, in the last couple of seasons, how we’ve reacted to disappointment has been really impressive as well.
“Chelsea at home, we’ll fancy ourselves. We beat them 3-0 at home last year.
“That’s in the past, but we know what they’re about, our fans will be right behind us, and we’re raring to go.
“Hopefully, we’ll get some more points on the board.”
Benitez, without defender Florian Lejeune for at least four months, is already having to content with injuries, while United’s manager will be without the suspended Isaac Hayden for the next three games.
Ten-man Newcastle drew 0-0 with Cardiff City last weekend.
Benitez was without right-back DeAndre Yedlin at the Cardiff City Stadium, where Hayden was dismissed for a clumsy challenge.
On-loan winger Kenedy – who had a late penalty saved and was fortunate not to be sent off for kicking out at Victor Camarasa – is ineligible to play against Chelsea, his parent club.
Lascelles lined up alongside Ciaran Clark against Cardiff and Tottenham Hotspur in the absence through injury of Lejeune, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in pre-season.
Lascelles was heartened with United’s defending against newly-promoted Cardiff, who were limited to just one shot on target.
“We all know each other and play with each other a lot,” said the 24-year-old, who led the team to a 10th-placed finish last season.
“Me and Ciaran have always had a good partnership, and obviously Dummy (Paul Dummett) is a really good left-back.
“Martin (Dubravka) is unbelievable in goal, and Javier slotted in for Yedlin really well. We’ve got the two new lads still to come in, so there’s a lot of competition in the defensive areas.
“You can’t take your place for granted, although I think it would be difficult for anyone to take our places at the moment, especially after a clean sheet and a good defensive display. We were under a lot of pressure, but we coped well.”