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Newcastle v Chelsea Preview


St James Park



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.

Date:Friday February 1 2013
Time: 11:44AM

Best of International Football News



player to watch Ryan will be just running from one end to another end of the pitch practising for next olympic as an athlete...
01/02/2013 12:00:00
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.
01/02/2013 12:17:00
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...
01/02/2013 12:27:00
This days i no longer know what to expect from our team. If only i can avoid watching those matches. Love gone sour.
01/02/2013 12:44:00
@Shlok...mate you could be soo funny...but its soo true...Berty for 100 meters...great britain!!
01/02/2013 13:13:00
i really cant see us winning vs newcastle! Is Mata fit?
01/02/2013 13:25:00
and howard webb is "our" ref! OMG we have absolute NO chance tomorrow!
01/02/2013 13:35:00
The star player is going to be fernando Torres. ..................................... "NOT"
01/02/2013 13:39:00
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.
01/02/2013 13:48:00
Correction Merlin!! Ben Arfa is a Frenchman and not on Afcon duty. Is he really absent for the match,maybe through injury??
01/02/2013 13:54:00
Mata and Cech are fit to play! at least good news!
01/02/2013 15:05:00
My line up would be: Cech Iva Cahill Terry Cole Rami Lamps Mata Oscar Torres Ba
01/02/2013 15:06:00
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!.....
01/02/2013 18:56:00
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
01/02/2013 19:12:00
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
01/02/2013 19:42:00
I think De Bruyne can play as a striker. Like Rooney. He is an intelligent player.
01/02/2013 19:45:00
Piazon should have gone to Germany instead of two team Spain.
01/02/2013 19:47:00
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.
01/02/2013 19:49:00
Bizarrely Florent Malouda has again been named in Chelsea updated official Premier League 25 man squad.
01/02/2013 20:02:00
CobhamBlue, your favourite is back? I hope he's not as lazy this time round.
01/02/2013 20:04:00
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