Champions league and FA Cup finals aside, Chelsea go into tonight’s match with fellow fourth spot contenders Newcastle, in the knowledge that league performances in their remaining three games could determine whether they play Champions League football next season.
The Blues are currently on an impressive 11 game unbeaten run, which has put them back in contention for the lucrative fourth spot in the Premier League, and champions league qualification. Comprehensive wins over Tottenham (5-1), and QPR (6-1), have been coupled wih important draws away to Arsenal and Barcelona, but tonight they face fifth place Newcastle, one point ahead.
Before the weekend’s surprise 4-0 defeat to Wigan, Newcastle had won six Premier League games in a row, including two wins in their last three away games. Much for this good form has been helped by new signing Papiss Cisse, netting 11 goals in 11 matches, including nine in six prior to Saturday’s defeat.
Chelsea are set to partner John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic in the centre of defence, in the absence of David Luiz and Gary Cahill. In form Fernando Torres is set to start again follow his weekend hat-trick, along with another goalscorer that day, Daniel Sturridge.
For Newcastle, Alan Pardew is still without defender Steven Taylor who has an achilles injury, and Danny Simpson may face a late fitness test. Gabriel Obertan is set for a return but will likely start on the bench.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Chelsea