Newcastle have history on their side on Saturday against a club they have famously had joy against at St James’ Park, with a United win over Chelsea guaranteeing a place in the Premier League top three over the World Cup break.

The Toon Army always feel hopeful when the Blues visit Tyneside – with victories such as the “French Revolution” 2012 triumph among some rare highlights of the Mike Ashley era. And the stats show that optimism is not misplaced, with United’s record against Chelsea on Tyneside over the last decade their best – home or away – against any of the Premier League “Big Six”.

Despite losing on their last two home outings against the Blues, Newcastle have picked up 1.78 Premier League points per game – and 16 in total – against Chelsea at St James’ Park in the last 10 years. The Magpies’ five wins in that time include a famous 3-2 victory in 2012 which saw Moussa Sissoko score two goals – including the winner – on his debut to ease relegation fears.

Newcastle’s record on Tyneside against the Blues is in stark contrast with their record at Stamford Bridge since November 2012, where they have failed to pick up a single point in their last eight Premier League visits.

And none of Chelsea’s main rivals have had anything close to their recent struggles at St James’ Park. Of the other five of the big six, Newcastle average a point per home game in the last decade against only Liverpool – with two wins and three draws in nine matches.

Bizarrely, the Magpies’ least favourite big six opponents at St James’ Park in that time have been the club who they most enjoy visiting. Despite picking up 1.6 points-per-game when visiting Tottenham since November 2012, Newcastle have won just four points in eight home games against Spurs over the same period, with a 5-1 demolition when already relegated in 2017 their only victory.

That record in the white half of North London is even more astonishing when you consider the Magpies have failed to pick up a single point in eight visits to Arsenal in that time. Newcastle are also pointless in nine trips to the Etihad to face Manchester City since November 2012.