After seeing their lead at the top wiped out, Chelsea will be hoping to return to winning ways in the Premier League with victory at home to Newcastle United.
It was quite staggering how the invariably rock-solid Blues defence was taken apart by a clinical and inspired Tottenham side on New Year’s Day, and manager Jose Mourinho will have been quick to address those issues on the training ground in the days since.
They responded with a strong second half display to see off Watford in the FA Cup on Sunday, but the pressure is now well and truly on with Manchester City having made up a gap which stood at eight points in early December, so no mistakes can be afforded here.
Newcastle supporters were dismayed after seeing their side crash out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle at Leicester City last time out, and caretaker-boss John Carver remains in charge for this clash with the club appearing no closer to appointing a permanent successor to Alan Pardew.
Prior to that disappointment at the King Power Stadium, the Magpies were involved in two hugely entertaining and high-scoring games, but this is set to be more of a rearguard action, and captain Fabricio Coloccini will be relied upon to produce the kind of performance which helped win the reverse fixture.
Chelsea have a fully-fit squad available for this match, but are expected to make a number of changes from the side that beat Watford.
The visitors have numerous absentees, with Rob Elliot, Cheick Tiote, Papiss Cisse, Siem De Jong and Steven Taylor. Goalkeeper Tim Krul is back in contention, however.
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