Chelsea vs Newcastle: Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Chelsea play host to Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. Here is a preview with team news, likely line-ups and predicted score for the game
Chelsea play host to Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night for a game that could be crucial in determining how the top-four shapes up come the end of the season.
Both sides will have one-eye on events at the Reebok where fourth-placed Tottenham face Bolton. Any slip-up by Spurs there would allow either sixth-placed Chelsea or fifth-placed Newcastle to move into pole position for Champions League qualification, with only one point separating the three sides at present.
Chelsea go into tonight’s game in fine form having thrashed local neighbours QPR 6-1 on Sunday, as Fernando Torres found his goal-scoring touch one again, bagging a hat trick. While Newcastle were on the wrong side of a hiding after going down 4-0 away to Wigan.
The Blues record against Newcastle will also give them confidence, as they are currently undefeated in their last nine matches against the Geordies and haven’t lost at home to them since 1986.
Roberto Di Matteo is expected to keep changes to a minimum ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final, as he knows the importance of this game in fulfilling their top-four hopes.
The Italian will be without Gary Cahill and David Luiz, who are both ruled out through injury, although it’s hoped the Brazilian defender may be fit in time for Saturday.
Branislav Ivanovic returns after completing his suspension and should come in the partner John Terry in central defence, with Jose Bosingwa moving back to the right.
Fernando Torres will hope to retain his place after his impressive display against QPR, although Di Matteo may have one-eye on his starting line-up for Saturday, meaning Didier Drogba may come back in.
Alan Pardew is sweating on the fitness of defender Danny Simpson, who picked up an ankle injury against Wigan on Saturday. However, Simpson is expected to recover in time to take his place at right back.
Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux will travel with the squad after recovering from injury, but Sammy Ameobi and Steven Taylor remain out.
Chelsea are in stunning form lately while Newcastle have lost five of their last eight games on the road. We can see the home side having too much for the Geordies, as Chelsea warm up for the FA Cup final with a win. Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle.
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