Ever since he returned to the north east on deadline day over the summer, Newcastle United fans have been chomping at the bit to see Andy Carroll back in full flight in a black and white shirt.
The big Geordie has struggled with injury, and has been restricted to cameos from the bench so far this season, but when he has entered the fray, there have been flashes of just how dangerous he can be.
At his current rate, he is averaging 11.7 aerial duels won per 90 minutes for the Toon Army, as per Whoscored, and it is evident to anybody watching that he is still one of the most destructive centre forwards in the Premier League on his day.
Which is fantastic news for the Magpies as they head into this weekend’s clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
After a thrilling 1-0 win over Manchester United last time out, confidence is high on Tyneside, and the hope will be that Steve Bruce’s men can follow up that result with another unlikely upset.
And judging by a report from the Chronicle, Carroll could be the secret weapon needed to take all three points.
The article focuses on the Blues’ use of zonal marking at set-pieces – a weakness that Carroll could no doubt create havoc with.
It reads: “Why are Chelsea struggling? A lot of the problem is related to their marking scheme, as Lampard seems to favour a full zonal system.
“Often, teams use traits from zonal and man marking approaches to get the benefits of both, but Chelsea don’t.”
The 30-year-old is unlikely to start, but if Newcastle can stay in the game like they did against United and bring him on for an onslaught of aerial attacks in the latter stages, the Magpies might just keep this newfound positivity rolling along for another week.
This article was originally posted here