Chelsea continue to fight for their resurgence in the Premier League, as they travel to St. James’ Park on Saturday, to face Newcastle United, a team Jose Mourinho has never managed to beat away from home in the league.
TEAM NEWS, INJURY UPDATES AND SUSPENSIONS
Willian, who suffered a hamstring knock against Maccabi Tel Aviv, is fit for selection, after missing the ties against Arsenal and Walsall. In fact apart from Courtois, who is expected to be out till December, rest of the squad are fit and available for selection according to Jose Mourinho.
Diego Costa, however, will miss the match through suspension, after receiving a three-match ban from the FA for “violent conduct” against Arsenal. As a result, Remy could start given Falcao’s lack of form. Captain John Terry or Gary Cahill may be dropped in favour of Zouma given his tremendous form and his ability to play at multiple positions, as iterated by Mourinho.
Newcastle United will be able to call on their Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is returning from a three-match ban himself. Janmaat will also be fit after a bout of illness. Jack Colback is doubtful but may just be fit in time, after a calf injury. The match will, however, come too soon for Chiek Tiote and Papiss Cisse, who will only resume training on Monday according to manager Steve McClaren. Marveaux remains doubtful while Steven Taylor and Riviere are long-term, absentees.
Having earned only 4 points from their first five matches, Chelsea have now won three matches on the go in three different competitions, scoring 10 goals and conceding only one. With these 10 goals coming from 10 different players, Chelsea are confident of goals from all over the pitch.
Jose Mourinho will, however, be aware of his dismal record at St James’ Park, having never won a league match at this stadium, and this is something he will be eager to put right. And this might be just the right time to break the duck, with Newcastle United not having won a single match this season. Chelsea will be looking at nothing other than 3 points, and we can expect some well controlled attacking football by the Blues.
Newcastle United have failed to win a single match this season, collecting only 2 points in the first six matches. Also, Newcastle saw themselves knocked out from the Capital One Cup last Wednesday at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday as they were booed off St. James’ Park. It is safe to say that the Magpies are on the brink of crisis, if not in crisis already. Manager Steve McClaren is definitely feeling the heat of the board and the wrath of the supporters.
He knows the team must get results if he is to continue as manager, and such a situation is not really ideal when you face the Premier League Champions. Although, Newcastle will find encouragement in the fact that Chelsea have lost all of their last three matches against them at this stadium, it is definitely not going to as easy this time around, with both clubs under pressure to perform.
Jose Mourinho has never won a match at St. James’ Park, drawing 2 and losing 3 in his 5 attempts. Eden Hazard has scored more goals against Newcastle than against any other team in the Premier League.
LAST 5 MEETINGS
Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United 10/01/2015
Newcastle United 2-1 Chelsea 06/12/2014
Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle United 08/02/2014
Newcastle United 2-0 Chelsea 02/11/2013
Newcastle United 3-2 Chelsea 02/02/2013
PREDICTED STARTING LINEUPS
Chelsea: Begovic (GK), Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry (C), Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Pedro, Remy
Newcastle United: Krul (GK), Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini (C), Haidara, Wijnaldum, Colback, Sissoko, Perez Thauvin, Mitrovic
Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea
Time: 1730 GMT / 2200 IST
Venue: St. James’ Park
Referee: Martin Atkinson
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Edited By: Karan Dubey
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