After a 100% start to the season, Roberto di Matteo’s Chelsea side face their toughest task of the season so far with a home fixture against Newcastle United. The Magpies beat the Blues 2-0 in May last season and Alan Pardew’s side will be eager to do the same.
Pardew’s side began their season with a tough 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at St. James’ Park, but the Newcastle squad have struggled with injuries so far. Captain Fabricio Coloccini missed the game against Spurs and has a thigh problem that could rule him out of the trip to Stamford Bridge. Demba Ba is also suffering with a sore shin and missed the 1-1 Europa League play-off draw with Atromitos on Thursday night.
The Newcastle boss is hopeful both will be fit and there are other doubts on midfielder Cheick Tiote, who has a calf worry, and striker Shola Ameobi, who has a hamstring problem. Papiss Cisse is expected to lead the line and will be a threat to the Blues, especially after his two wonder goals gave Newcastle their victory at Stamford Bridge last season.
Chelsea will look to tighten up at the back after conceding twice against Reading and Gary Cahill is expected to retain his place ahead of the injured David Luiz. Ramires is also back from illness and should keep his role in midfield. Chelsea are still without summer signing Marko Marin, who is still suffering from a hamstring injury.
Blues midfielder Eden Hazard has been the leading light for Di Matteo with five assists to his name already and he has already gone some way to justifying the £32m transfer fee Chelsea paid to bring him from Lille. Look out for late goals in this game with the last three Premier League fixtures producing a 90th minute goal.