A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Both Petr Cech and Juan Mata are believed to be fit for the match at Newcastle tomorrow, with the Spanish midfielder overcoming a slight knock sustained in the draw at Reading midweek. David Luiz is still out injured, whilst Eden hazard serves the third match of his ban.
Newcastle will only be without midfielders Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote for tomorrow’s clash at St James’ Park, with Alan Pardew resting plenty of players to keep them fit for the match. How many of their battalion of new French signings will start is unknown, but Moussa Sissoko is likely to retain a starting place after his fine debut at Aston Villa.
Rafa Benitez has defended Chelsea’s recent run, and said that despite going without a win in three matches, the team has been performing well:
“I think if you look at the games we didn't win, we could have won all of them.
"The team is doing quite well. I felt that the performance of the team has been good. In all of the games, we had chances to win. I am quite confident, with players coming back.”
Chelsea right back Cesar Azpilicueta believes that Demba Ba will be unfazed by the reception he will be given by the fans at Newcastle United on Saturday. Ba made no secret of his desire to leave the club before he made his move to Chelsea, but Azpilicueta believes he will stay focussed on the pitch whatever the reception:
“It's true that he played very well there so I think they must be disappointed because he's a very good player, but he's going to be focused on the game.”
Azpilicueta has been included in the Spain squad for their upcoming match with Uruguay, but there was no place for misfiring striker Fernando Torres, who has now been left out of the squad for the second time in a row.
On HITC today Dan Coombs looks at five reasons why it’s all falling apart at Chelsea, with the Blues already only really competing for the Europa League and FA cup this season.
Yossi Benayoun has said he has unfinished business at Chelsea, as he hasn’t been able to play his best for the club yet due to injuries and being sent out on loan.
Midfielder Willian completed his €34 million transfer to Anzhi today, and HITC's Jen Leigh has asked whether the Brazilian would have been better off waiting for a move to a top European league, a sentiment echoed by Andre Villas-Boas earlier in the day.