Can Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho end his St James' Park hoodoo?

Mourinho & Bench - Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has failed to win any of his five Premier League visits to St James' Park - will this weekend be sixth time lucky?

Chelsea head into the weekend eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City following their 2-0 win at home to Arsenal last weekend.

The Citizens dropped points for the first time last Saturday as they were surprisingly beaten at home by West Ham United in the evening game.

Fixtures are reversed for these two sides this weekend as Manchester City are the lunchtime kickoff at Tottenham Hotspur, before Chelsea finish Saturday's action at Newcastle United.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho is still yet to taste victory at St James' Park in his five Premier League matches as a manager, but will surely head into this weekend full of confidence despite Diego Costa being handed a three-match ban this week - as announced on the FA's official website.

Chelsea's star striker does only have one goal in his six Premier League matches this season, and only four in his last 13 in the league. However, the Spanish international is of paramount importance.

Arguably, the player could be praised for getting Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista sent off last weekend, which turned out to be the turning point in the game and his team may very well not have picked up three points but for Costa winding up the opposition.

On top of this, Chelsea simply do not have a player to replace Costa's quality when he doesn't start up front.

Radamel Falcao is expected to step in during his absence, or at least start this weekend's trip to the North East. The Colombian hitman netted only four goals in his 26 Premier League appearances for Manchester United last season following his comeback from a serious knee injury nearly two years ago.

The 29-year-old has already scored once for the Blues in his five substitute appearances, which have totalled only 73 minutes.

Reports in the media during the summer suggested that Mourinho wanted to, and was confident in finding the striker's form once again - as covered by Sky Sports. Will we see it in the next few games?

Alternatively, Mourinho could choose Loic Remy to lead the line. The French striker netted in their 4-1 win at Walsall in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday and scored some important goals on Chelsea's way to winning the Premier League last season.

He's a different option to Costa, though – Remy offers pace and a decent long distance shot. Costa is more of a poacher, scoring nearly all of his goals inside the penalty area. The former Atletico Madrid man is also good at bringing his teammates into play - holding the ball up.

Whether it be Falcao or Remy up front this weekend and beyond, either or both strikers can expect to see chances. Although neither did when they split 90 minutes between them in the FA Community Shield at the beginning of August.

Eden Hazard found his form last weekend and on the opposite flank is Pedro, who creates plenty of chances for his teammates. Cesc Fabregas and Oscar in the middle are both playmakers, too.

This weekend's opponents are only off the bottom of the table on goal difference. Steve McClaren's Newcastle have taken just two points from their opening six fixtures, and whilst half of those came in a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, they have otherwise looked woeful.

Their last two home league matches have seen them beaten by Arsenal and 2-1 by Watford. They were also eliminated from the Capital One Cup by Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

Mourinho has plenty of reasons to be confident in his side taking three points from St James' Park this weekend.

Newcastle have already shipped nine goals - only three sides have allowed more heading into this weekend. They are one of only three sides yet to taste victory in 2015-16, and no side has lost more games than them.

The Magpies have looked poor defensively on a number of occasions this season, and whilst they have not conceded more than two goals in any single game, they have been generous in gifting opponents chances. They have conceded exactly two goals in two-thirds of their Premier League matches under McClaren.

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