Chelsea v Newcastle @ Stamford Bridge
Saturday January 10 @ 15.00
Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday as they return to Stamford Bridge for the first time this year to take on managerless Newcastle.
The home side had a mixed festive period and have not played in the league since the humiliating 5-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day.
Jose Mourinho will be able to call on the services of the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard after they were rested for last week’s FA Cup victory over Watford.
Mourinho has a fully fit squad to choose from as Oscar and Andre Schurrle have recovered from injuries, although the latter has been linked with a move away from the club during this month’s transfer window.
The reverse fixture in early December did not go well for Chelsea as they saw their unbeaten start to the season ended, courtesy of two Papiss Cissé goals.
The result dented the club’s title hopes but Mourinho’s men will look to gain some revenge and add to Newcastle’s woes as they continue to search for Alan Pardew’s replacement.
The Magpies’ caretaker manager John Carver is hoping to put his name forward for the job on a permanent basis and will take charge of the team again, who have only managed one win in their last six games.
Manchester City have put real pressure on the Blues over the past month, with the two teams sharing identical records for the season, meaning Chelsea top the league simply because they come first in the alphabet.
It the Blues want a fourth Premier League crown, then victory on Saturday seems imperative.
Star Man: Diego Costa – The Spaniard is the league’s joint top scorer with 14 goals already this season and will be Chelsea’s main avenue of attack.
Danger Man: Papiss Cissé – The majority of his nine goals this season have been as a substitute but he will now look to hold down a regular place in the starting XI following the departure of manager Alan Pardew.
Last Encounter: Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea (Cissé x2; Drogba)
Referee: Roger East
Picture courtesy of brent flanders, with thanks