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Newcastle vs. Chelsea

St James Park

02/02/13

15:00

Newcastle v Chelsea Preview

Chelsea faces a second consecutive away match this weekend when they travel to St James Park to take on Newcastle United. Following the dramatic late surrender of two points, on Wednesday night, against Reading, Chelsea supporters will be hoping that Rafa Benitez can pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and orchestrate a turnaround in our fortunes, although I wouldn`t bet on it.

Vital Quotes:

As we head off towards St James Park, and a difficult fixture against Alan Pardew`s Newcastle United, perhaps our Spanish full back, Cesar Azpilicueta has hit the nail on the head when, in an interview with the media, he`s commented about teams not fearing us, remarking,

"When you win you get more respect. Teams will be scared of us when we start winning games in a row."

Have we lost that fear factor we used to possess?

Can it be recovered under the tutorship of Rafa Benitez?

Newcastle Team News:

Alan Pardew went Frenchman mad in the closing stages of the January transfer window bringing in several of the reference race in Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara, Moussa Sissoko and Kevin Mbabu, how many will start against us remains to be seen.

However, Pardew will be glad that his decent centre back Fabricio Coloccini didn`t leave Tyneside in the transfer window after expressing a desire to leave Newcastle.

As for players absent through African Cup of Nations duty, Pardew has Tiote and Ben Arfa absent.

Player to watch: Cisse

Anybody who was at Stamford Bridge last season will not forget those two magnificent strikes that beat Petr Cech all ends up, a dangerous operator who we`ll have to keep a watch on.

Chelsea Team News:

Rafa takes his squad to the north-east with two players still away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations , namely Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel.

On the injury front Rafa will be without Oriol Romeu, who is side-lined for the season, whilst the Chelsea supporters will be hoping that Juan Mata can shake off the ankle injury that saw him limp off, in midweek, in the fixture against Reading. Still recovering from injury as well is David Luiz.

On a similar note, Chelsea supporters will be hoping that Petr Cech has recovered from the calf injury that kept him out of the starting eleven against both Brentford and Reading.

Also unavailable, through suspension, is Eden Hazard with the young Belgian serving the last of his three game-ban for the Swansea ball-boy incident.

As for questions relating to the starting eleven:-

• Will Rafa select John Terry at the heart of the Chelsea defence?
• Will Rafa opt for Demba Ba over Fernando Torres?
• Will Rafa persist with Ryan Bertrand out on the left side of midfield?

Player to watch: Demba Ba

It`s an unwritten rule that former player inevitably score the winning goal against their former clubs. The only thing that can prevent that in this fixture is if Rafa opts for Torres up front and keeps Demba on the bench until the 90th minute.

Match Facts & Stats

Chelsea`s recent record against Newcastle is pretty impressive.

In our last 5 visits to St James Park we`ve won 3 and drawn 2

In our last 11 meetings we`ve only lost on the one occasion, that night at Stamford Bridge when Cisse`s wonder goals did for us.

Ref Watch:

Our officials for this fixture are;- Referee - H. Webb Assistant - P. Kirkup Assistant - J. Brooks Fourth Official - S. Atwell

Match Prediction:

Here we go again: trying to predict how Chelsea will perform under the tuition of Rafa Benitez, a manager who it is being reported befuddles his players with instructions and training ground routines. I`ll guess that we`ll endeavour to take the lead, then we`ll sit back and then we`ll probably concede, but after that, who knows? Any confidence I`ve had in predicting a Chelsea result has long gone out of the window. What was that famous line that introduced the Gerry Anderson show Stingray? Something along the lines of anything can happen in the next half hour - it kind of sums up how Chelsea re currently performing after the 60th minute does it not!

Next Fixtures:

Our next fixture will see us welcome Wigan Athletic to Stamford Bridge on Saturday 9th February.




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The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 1 2013

Time: 11:44AM

Your Comments

player to watch Ryan will be just running from one end to another end of the pitch practising for next olympic as an athlete...
shlok27
Lol@Shlok....The sight of that lad at the LW can be depressing. What i dont know is what the coaches think they see him do there that we dont. He poses no attacking threat whatsoever,even more of a waste of space when we face teams who do not have sharp R-wingers.
Ohans
shlok27can be so funny sometimes loool Good to have you on this site champ... On the game - hopefully we can do a number on the toon but you never know with Rafa in the dug out...he could lose us the game even from a winning position with his actions or lack thereof....Fingers crossed.!! C'mon you chels...
JohnnyOz
This days i no longer know what to expect from our team. If only i can avoid watching those matches. Love gone sour.
Ohans
@Shlok...mate you could be soo funny...but its soo true...Berty for 100 meters...great britain!!..lol
layorh12
i really cant see us winning vs newcastle! Is Mata fit?
austriablue
and howard webb is "our" ref! OMG we have absolute NO chance tomorrow!
austriablue
The star player is going to be fernando Torres. ..................................... "NOT"
Tugay08
Mata should be fit for the game. He represents our only chance of getting some favourable result in that tie. And please,no Ryan on the wings.
Ohans
Correction Merlin!! Ben Arfa is a Frenchman and not on Afcon duty. Is he really absent for the match,maybe through injury??
Ohans
Mata and Cech are fit to play! at least good news!
austriablue
My line up would be: Cech Iva Cahill Terry Cole Rami Lamps Mata Oscar Torres Ba
austriablue
The following players have been relaeased by chelsea football club as they will not be offered new contracts from the under 21 team - 5 players: James Ashton, Conor Clifford, Ben Gordon, Rohan Ince and Adam Phillip, from the Under 18 team, 1 player - Alistair Gordon....sad to see but wish them all the best....I am a bit surprised about conor Clifford though, I always tot he was decent!.....
layorh12
Our club is in shamble with this apology of a coach. For tomorrows match confidence it at an all time low so I will be happy if we get a draw but I will pray hard that we should win this one. KTBFFH
sojofjand
With the morale of the team so low and the players even admitting it, I think we can just hope for a miracle to make this happen, I wish mata would recover to play a part in the game
Desmondadonis
I think De Bruyne can play as a striker. Like Rooney. He is an intelligent player.
foreign_viewer
Piazon should have gone to Germany instead of two team Spain.
foreign_viewer
Mikel, Luiz and maybe Romeu before the season. Moses on the wings. Terry fully fit. The team will be fine for the rest of the season.
foreign_viewer
Bizarrely Florent Malouda has again been named in Chelsea updated official Premier League 25 man squad.
CobhamBlue
CobhamBlue, your favourite is back? I hope he's not as lazy this time round.
foreign_viewer
@Cobham. That's pretty bizzare mate,i misjudged the lad and he shouldn't have been treated the way he was. Hopefully he adds something special to an already thin squad.
nelyvanile
Unbelievable! Malouda is back in the roster??? How do you expect him to give 100% on the pitch knowing weve treated him like crap?? He will simply go through the motions like Torres does.
3nity
Malouda was listed as being a part of the roster at the beginning of the season too, I'm almost positive. Nothing has changed.
RadioactiveD
Malouda just posted on twitter saying that news of him being reintegrated back to the squad is false and that his ban continues for another five months. Why da hell is he playing Mr. Victim while he still collects his weekly pay package? If he still wants to play football, he would ve taken a pay-cut and move this winter.
Chelz Akamz
Chelz Akamz, He offered to walk away from his Chelsea contract and take a pay cut. Chelsea would not let him. foreign_viewer, never forget Florent Malouda was one of Chelsea's star players (and Players' Player of the Year) when Chelsea won their one and only League & FA Cup Double. A thank you to him might be in order rather than constant abuse.
CobhamBlue
We cant always blame the board and or coach when things like this happen. Malouda and benayoun were asked to move last summer but unlike benayoun, malouda had suitors but he didnt want to take a paycut and turned the offers down. Even Benayoun had to took a paycut to join westham on 4months loan when he couldnt get offers for a permanent move. Now malouda is trying to play mr. Victim while he keeps collecting his weekly wages for doing nothing.
Chelz Akamz
@CobhamBlue its not true that malouda wanted to leave and the club declined. The real scenario was the other way round. Robbie said at the time when quizzed on why he was left not that malouda indicated that he wanted to leave and the club made transfers to replace him(i.e the moses signing). And it later emerged that malouda was holding out for compensation on the difference between his wages at chelsea and the one being offered by santos and the other suitors. U cant blame the club for not wanting to set that kind of presedence. Now every player would know that u cant hold chelsea to ransome.
Chelz Akamz
Chelz Akamz, That's not the case. Malouda offered Chelsea the chance to cancel his contract and save Chelsea £4m. Chelsea said they would not allow him to do that and wanted a transfer fee if he left the club. It is totally unreasonable for a football club to expect a large transfer fee for a player AND expect the player to take a large pay cut as well. Malouda advised Chelsea that if he could not leave on a free transfer he would see out his contract. Even then, as now, Malouda was named in Chelsea 25 man Premier League squad. Benitez has complained that Chelsea are short of senior players but is not allowed to use a player who is under contract, part of his 25 man squad and willing to play. That is crazy.
CobhamBlue
Hmmm...Malouda or Benyoun...I'd far prefer to see Yossi out there. At least one can say, with all honesty, that Yossi gves it all he has when he gets the opportunity. Malouda..not so much. I'd far prefer to see more effort and desire from a player than one coasting on his "talent and previous accolades.
rockhead
The debacle at Reading was due to an almost bipolar lack of concentration and focus by our defenders as well as a lack of effort by a couple of mids. That second goal against was a frightening example of what a lack of focus can do to a Club. Blame it on Rafa if you wish; blame his substitutions if you will, but the blame goes to the people wearing the shirts on the pitch, not the man in the tie in the technical area. We were undone by the players in that match. That being said, I've seen far too many mental gaffes since Rafa came onboard. Either the players are against him or he's not near the disciplinarian that is needed on this team. Too many times, a player(or several) are deserving of a well placed knock on the noodle to get their attention.
rockhead
I Think Florent Malouda has been named in Chelsea Premier League 25 man squad of PlayStation...I dont think chelsea would do that kind of mistake..he has choose that he doest want to cut his wages and go some where and play and wanna end his conract here...so why sympatizes with him...ad reagarding ryan honestly he is not good enough to play for left wing even a child can understand that dont understand why our manager cant see him...people a saying marin is flop that he cant handle epl....how many chance did he got to prove that how many matches he played for 90 minutes..he hasnt played enough to show his worth and this is his first season and he is playing under a coach who is a tactical dumb...if marin is labelled as flop then torres shouldnt be playing football at all...because he is the worst of al...
shlok27
we can win it since we have the players to do it and not complain when we do not do it.
Kendemsblue
Don't tell me this crap about Marin not being strong enough for Newcastle,that's utter crap...So I guess Marin is a Bison on the wings then. Anyone who has seen Marin within the last few games will notice the lad has been played on the right,he's not a crosser,he loves to cut in from the left unto his right foot and attack full backs. If we wanted an option attacking wise then Bertrand should have been taken off for Marin. I refuse to believe that crap about the lad not being good enough,he is being played out of position and needs game time to get back to full fitness. I watched Marin in the reserve game,where he played on the left and had a lovely game coming back from injury.
nelyvanile
Players are not playing for th manager
Kendemsblue
 

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