Following Tuesday night’s Carling Cup defeat at the hands of Liverpool, Chelsea travel to the Sports Direct Arena on Saturday where they take on Newcastle United in the Premier League’s lunch time fixture.
Andre Villas Boas’ men need to put Tuesday’s disappointment behind them quickly, as their manager’s position continues to be put under scrutiny, and a tricky away trip to open the fixture frenzy which is December is not a fixture the Portuguese coach would have had at the top of his Christmas list.
Captain John Terry is set to be recalled to the side after being suspended for the home defeat in mid-week, as are Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge who were all rested.
Following last weekend’s win at home to Wolves, the blues will be looking to record their first back to back league wins since mid October. But if the Stamford Bridge outfit are to secure all three points it will be no easy feat, with Alan Pardew’s men continuing to defy critics earning a point at Old Trafford last time out.
The Magpies have been in fine form this season and sit comfortable occupying a champion’s league place in 4th position and with just one league defeat to their name. Undefeated at home in the league this term, and boasting the meanest defence joint with Manchester City, a spirited Chelsea will need to turn up to take on the resurgent Toon Army.
A win will do Chelsea’s confidence the world of good and inject them with a much needed boost going into next week’s crunch Champions League game at home to Valencia. With a congested fixture list and games against Manchester City and Spurs coming up later in the month, points here are a must for Chelsea.
A win will see the West Londoners leapfrog their opposition, and occupy 3rd position for the time being with London rivals playing host to Bolton later on in the afternoon. A draw will ensure neither side move in the table, whilst a defeat for Chelsea gives both Liverpool and Arsenal the opportunity to overtake them.
By Simon Blaquiere