Chelsea - Newcastle United: Preview and Line-ups Prediction
Chelsea welcome Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon...
Chelsea welcome Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon in search of a win that could haul them into the top half of the table for the first time this season.
Guus Hiddink's men rescued a point at home to Manchester United last weekend thanks to a Diego Costa goal deep into stoppage time, extending their unbeaten streak to 11 games.
A testing Champions League round of 16 encounter against Paris Saint-Germain will be the back of the Blues' minds, though the Dutchman has stressed it won't have any bearing on his team selection for the visit of Steve McClaren's side.
The Magpies invested significantly during the January transfer window – more than any club in Europe, in fact – and many players likely to be in the first eleven will have a point to prove.
Despite their general inconsistency throughout the past few campaigns, Newcastle have given us a tough contest in recent fixtures and will come into the fixture raring to capitalise on our fragile confidence in a bid to drag themselves out of relegation danger.
Steve McClaren is in the midst of a truly shocking injury crisis with no fewer than ten senior players ruled out of action while another four are unlikely to feature. Jamaal Lascelles is suspended to boot.
The main absentees for the visiting team include Tim Krul, Massadio Haidara, Chancel Mbemba and Jack Colback.
Elliot | Janmaat, Taylor, Coloccini, Colback | Tiote, Shelvey | Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Townsend | Mitrovic
Six Previous Meetings
Newcastle United 2-2 Chelsea (Premier League, September 2015)
Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United (Premier League, January 2015)
Newcastle United 2-1 Chelsea (Premier League, December 2014)
Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle United (Premier League, February 2014)
Newcastle United 2-0 Chelsea (Premier League, November 2013)
The Blues have very done well to string together 11 matches without defeat considering the abysmal state the squad was in under the tenure of Jose Mourinho this season.
However, I, like the rest of you surely are, am waiting for us to exhibit the fluid and dominant attacking football this group of players are capable of producing. The 3-0 win over Crystal Palace is arguably the closest we've come to the type of performance we regarded as standard last campaign.
It would be a big ask to come up with a display of such confidence against what will be a dogged, fiery Newcastle outfit, but it's certainly possible with form and the home support on our side.
I'll go for a 3-1 victory for the Blues. What are your score predictions?