Can Mourinho Fix The St. James Park Jinx
For all the accolades he has received and deserved through his career, a win at St. James Park is something which has eluded Jose Mourinho. And the last season it culminated with a 0-2 defeat. However , with the current form of his latest Chelsea side, there is hope that Mourinho may be able to get the monkey off his back.
As for the line-up, I do see a few changes. Cahill should again start in the back four which should remain unchanged from the starting line up against Tottenham. In the midfield, with Matic being suspended, Mikel should replace him. But I also see Ramires starting in place of Oscar with Fabregas moving to a more advanced role and Diego Costa making a comeback.
Newcastle has got that physicality spread all over the park which Jose would want to eliminate. Coloccini is reported to be not fully fit. Costa and Hazard would want to eliminate the physical prowess of Newcastle defensive unit with their attack and creativity. And for Newcastle their best bet in the midfield seems to be Tiote, Sissoko, and De Jong but with Pardew playing Colback/Abeid in the Central Defensive Midfielder role, it’ll be interesting to see if Tiote is indeed played in that role. Expect Sissoko to be versatile as ever after his madness against West Ham.
Pardew has also talked about Sissoko returning from suspension and has laid down the gauntlet for him to prove his class and hence he would be eager to make a mark. He is club’s best bet in feeding the balls to Cisse and Mourinho would definitely have Ramirez and Mikel ready for this. Don’t see Fabregas in the CDM since Chelsea would need to have equally strong guys to counter the Big Guys at Newcastle tamed. The match would be open and end to end since Newcastle doesn’t defend very deep. However they are extremely threatening on attacks as well. All that matter to Chelsea is to cut the supply in Midfield and finish their chances on the counters.
This game needs to be won in the midfield and that’s where Jose and his boys would look to outscore and win tomorrow, especially in the absence of Matic.
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Edited By: Shashank Rai