210216 Werner
Chelsea striker Timo Werner (right) will be hoping to be on target against Newcastle tomorrow. Image Credit: AFP

London: Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe does not expect the uncertainty surrounding Chelsea in the aftermath of sanctions imposed on their Russian owner Roman Abramovich to affect the London club’s performances on the pitch.

Abramovich, who had been under scrutiny following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, announced he was selling the west London club last week but that sale is now on hold with Chelsea operating under a special government licence.

The sanctions allow Chelsea to continue playing games and pay their squad and staff, but the world and European champions cannot transfer players in or out as things stand.

Chelsea, who have won their last four league games, take on 14th-placed Newcastle in the Premier League tomorrow.

No difference

“I don’t think it will have any bearing on Chelsea and how they play,” Howe told reporters.

“For us, you can’t change our preparation in any way. I’ll be watching Chelsea historically and trying to build a game plan to try to go there and win. I don’t expect anything on the pitch, really, to be any different.”

Newcastle are on 31 points from 27 games, 10 points above the relegation zone, thanks to an unbeaten league run since the turn of the year, with Howe being named Premier League manager of the month for February.