Mourinho’s men marched forward after defeating their bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspurs in jubilant fashion at Stamford Bridge and made a new club record by stretching their unbeaten run to 23 games in all competitions. It was a clinical performance from the Blues, who maintain their six-point lead at the top of the Premier League table over current champions Manchester City.
This Saturday the Blues travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle. Alan Pardew’s men will be hoping to extend their strong recent home record against Chelsea when the sides come face-to-face. The Magpies have won their last two matches against the Blues in front of their own fans. Mourinho, on the other hand, is yet to win his first at St. James’ Park and will be hoping his Blue machine would breach the Magpies’ defense in their own backyard.
Nemanja Matic picked up his 5th yellow card and has triggered the automated suspension for his next against Newcastle; The Serbian would be resting his long legs after playing every minute of this Premier League season . Diego Costa will be back and raring to go after missing out on a London derby at the bridge.
Here’s how the manager is expected to line up against Newcastle United:
GK – Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea’s new number 1 takes the risk of coming out during set pieces and has great reflexes. The Belgian ranked in the top 5 goalkeepers certainly keeps his place ahead of Petr Cech.
CB – John Terry and Garry Cahill
With consecutive clean sheets, the pairing of John Terry and Garry Cahiil is one of the best in the Premier League. Cahill was substituted by Zouma in the second half against Spurs for a mild head injury but Mourinho has confirmed the defender did not suffer a concussion. The Englishmen are great when it comes to scoring from set pieces.
RB – Branislav Ivanovic
The Serbian defensive hitman has been great throughout this season; making those crucial runs and his accurate crosses into the box. A great addition to the set piece with Terry and Cahill.
LB – Cesar Azpilicueta
Termed as one of Mourinho’s favorite player and Premier League’s best Left-Back; The Spaniard has started to be a bit more offensive this season helping out the wingers when in need and increasing his assist tally.
CM – John Obi Mikel and Cesc Fabregas
With Nemanja Matic suspended after 5 yellow cards, Mikel will have a chance to prove his place in the club. The Nigerian is nowhere near to what the Serbian is today but can change things with one good game. Fabregas currently is the assist king and there’s no reason why Mourinho would replace him.
LW- Eden Hazard
No points for guessing why the Belgian would start against the Magpies; Hazard has owned the left wing for quite some time and always proves to be a menace with his pace and dribbling skills.
RW – Willian
In recent games the Brazilian has proved why he deserves to be selected over Schurrle. WIth his immense pace and work rate he fits perfectly into the squad. This season the right-wing has been one of the most competitive spot up for grabs and the Brazilian looks to be settling in quite well.
CAM – Oscar
Just like Eden Hazard, Oscar has conquered the number 10 position for the Blues. The Brazilian has no issues running back to help out the defense and has great link up play with Hazard and Willian. He might not win headers for the team but certainly can assist and score death defying goals.
ST – Diego Costa
The Brazilian-born Spaniard has already shown why he’s worth the price tag. After completing his suspension against Spurs, Costa would be raring to get back to bullying defenders once again. He as had his well-deserved rest and will be hoping to catch up to Sergio Aguero’s goal tally.
Mourinho would be disappointed not having Nemanja Matic in the side; Perhaps the most influential player but it’s the team that wins a game and not an individual. After last season’s defeat at St. James’ Park, Chelsea would be hoping to set the records straight and show why they are at the top of the table undefeated.
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt