In-form Chelsea travel to Tyneside to take on Newcastle United in Saturday’s early kick-off, with the Magpies having made an inconsistent start to the campaign.
Newcastle will still be smarting from the defeat to arch rivals Sunderland in their previous Premier League outing, where they were beaten by Fabio Borini’s excellent late strike. Despite an improved display against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup, they again had nothing to show for their efforts as they lost after extra time. Alan Pardew’s side are in 11th place, three points clear of the drop zone.
And in the form of Chelsea, Newcastle face another difficult game at St. James’ Park. Since the shock Champions League defeat to Basel in September, the Blues have won eight of their last nine matches, including the dramatic victory over Manchester City, which could prove very important in the final reckoning, as far as the title race is concerned.
Making plenty of changes for the Capital One Cup tie at Arsenal also did not harm them, as Chelsea ran out comfortable winners, with the team now beginning to show the confidence and consistency of Jose Mourinho’s first spell in charge.
Newcastle are severely hampered by injuries to defenders, with captain Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, and Paul Dummett all unavailable. Loic Remy should return after being rested for the Man City game.
There are no new injury problems for Chelsea, but Mourinho will rotate his squad, with Fernando Torres looking to torment Newcastle’s depleted backline.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Newcastle