Chelsea morning news: Salah set for debut; Mourinho and opposing boss 'good friends'

Alan Pardew

All the latest news and gossip from Stamford Bridge this morning.

Chelsea take on Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge this afternoon, so here is some team news ahead of the fixture.

Firstly, it seems like Mohamed Salah is set for his Blues debut this afternoon. Chelsea are expected to rotate their squad today - and Salah could come in for Willian on the right hand side.

Meanwhile Fernando Torres is out. His return from a knee sprain comes too late for this tie, but he could feature against West Brom on Tuesday night.

Newcastle however have plenty of big names missing. Cheick Tiote, Fabricio Coloccini, Yoan Gouffran, Papiss Cisse and Loic Remy will all miss the tie through injury and suspension.

Ahead of the game Alan Pardew has been rubbishing the claims of Jose Mourinho which suggest his side are not title contenders.

The Chelsea boss made the claims after an impressive victory over Manchester City at The Etihad - but Pardew believes:

“I don't believe that for one minute - and I think deep down, nor does Jose.”

Meanwhile Mourinho has been singing the praises of Pardew to the official Chelsea website:

“I like Alan. We speak on the phone not every week but almost every week. We are good friends. He lives the game with emotion, and his teams normally reflect what the manager is: a guy that is enthusiastic and lives for the game...His teams are always teams to fight to the end. Alan is that. He can do a big celebration if his team wins in the last minute; he's an emotional guy and I like that.”

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has been keeping quiet over rumours of an end of season move to Major League Soccer.

Currently at The Blues next Champions League opponents Galatasaray the Ivorian is being linked with a move Stateside in the summer.

But he stated:

"So many things have been said these last few days and I normally don't react other such rumours so it's gonna be the first and last time I do it. I'm here focusing on achieving history for my team and nothing will take my eyes out of my goals! To all my red and yellow fans let's keep on winning until the end of the season."

image: © Brian Minkoff - London Pixels

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