Chelsea starting XI: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Willian, Oscar, Matic, Lampard, Hazard, Eto’o
Subs: Schwarzer, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Schurrle, Salah, Ba
Newcastle United starting XI: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Taylor, Dummett, Santon, Anita, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Sa Ameobi, Luuk de Jong
Subs: Elliot, Haidara, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gosling, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Armstrong
While Jose Mourinho continues to pretend his side are not title contenders, the Blues know that a run of wins could see them looking down on the rest sooner rather than later.
After an outstanding and much-deserved victory away to Manchester City, Chelsea return to London to host a Newcastle United side not enjoying the best of times. But despite that, Alan Pardew still has a side that are capable of causing an upset this afternoon – if they play to their potential.
The Magpies will not have given up on a European place just as Mourinho will secretly be enthusing about his title chances. Fernando Torres has already been ruled out, while the visitors must do without Cheick Tiote due to a hamstring injury.
Newcastle have won three of the last four meetings between the two sides, although the Blues are unbeaten this year, winning seven and drawing two of their last nine games.
But if Pardew does want to get a result today, he will have to stop a slump that has seen his side win only one of their last six league matches, and fail to score in any of the other five; although their recent away form has been far more encouraging than their performances at St James’ Park.
What do you think the result will be this afternoon?
image: © geetarchurchy