Chelsea look to get back their Premier League title charge back on track when they take on a manager-less Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Blues have seen an 8 point-lead blown away in the last month and are only top at the moment, incredibly, on alphabetical order. Every other determinant of theirs like goal difference, goals scored and goals conceded is exactly the same as that of Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho’s men will also have revenge on their mind as it was the Magpies that ended their unbeaten start to the season last month. A brace by Papiss Demba Cisse saw Alan Pardew’s men run out 2-1 winners. Pardew has, since then, joined Crystal Palace and Newcastle are yet to name a permanent replacement.
Chelsea’s new year got off to a horrendous start as they were beaten 5-3 by their London rivals Tottenham. They will want to put that defeat behind them and start afresh here, with 2015 providing the promise and prospect for a lot of success. They did get some reprieve last week, as they beat Watford 3-0 in the third round of the FA Cup.
Despite that defeat against Spurs throwing up a lot of potential weaknesses in the Chelsea backline, Mourinho is expected to name the very same team for the game against Newcastle. Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill were in particular criticised for their team’s hapless defensive performance at White Hart Lane; but, with Chelsea fully expected to dominate possession and have the majority of the chances at home, the duo will mostly feature.
The rest of the team is also expected to remain the same.
This fixture last season was about one man and one man only: Eden Hazard. The Belgian had one of his best games ever in a Chelsea shirt and scored a magnificent hattrick in a comfortable 3-0 win for the Blues. He has improved vastly since then and has been in dazzling form of late. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him run riot once again.
Here is the possible Chelsea starting line-up against Newcastle on Saturday:
Jose Mourinho will want his team to show intent and desire following the defeat against Spurs. It is very important that a reaction comes for the players in front of their home fans. Chelsea have a perfect record at home, and that looks set to continue here against a managerless-side also facing some injury issues.
Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle United