Newcastle United vs Chelsea
Nov 2, 2013 at 12.45pm (UK)
St James’ Park
Saturday’s lunch time kick off sees Chelsea head to Newcastle United in a bid to top the English Premier League table at least for a few hours before Arsenal take on Liverpool in a late kick off at the Emirates. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will be hoping his side can repeat their recent performances and garner their seventh consecutive win in a row. Chelsea made about ten changes in the side which beat Arsenal’s understudies in the 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.
Chelsea head to the game on a fine run of form edging Manchester City last Sunday when striker Fernando Torres latched on to a defensive mistake to bag full three points against a side which are directly competing for the Championship. The Magpies have however endured turbulent form in recent times losing the Tyneside derby against fierce rivals Sunderland last week and then losing to Manchester City in midweek in the Capital One Cup. Newcastle sit eleventh in the table and Alan Pardew will be looking for a response from his almost “French” side which is capable of beating any side if they play to the fullest of their potential.
One stat which the under pressure Pardew can take motivation from is that Jose Mourinho has never won at St’ James Park and the Magpies boss would be eager to keep that stat unchanged. He is almost certain to recall Yanga Mbiwa who missed the derby last week against Sunderland. Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye will again be the main stay of the home team and will have to play out of their skin if they are to get something from the high flying Chelsea side which looks like a well oiled machine.
Man To watch out:
A rejuvenated Fernando Torres will be again wanting to make inroads in Newcastle defence and it seems as if his confidence is back. What might be pleasing for the Blues is that Mourinho finally might have cracked what his best eleven is, even though if it means keeping Juan Mata in the sidelines. With Oscar in the number ten role with Schrrule and Hazard with Torres up front.
Possible starting lineups
Newcastle United: Krul; Debuchy, Santon, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa; Tiote, Sissoko, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Gouffran; Remy.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cole, Cahill, Terry; Lampard, Hazard, Ramires, Oscar, Schurrle; Torres.
Match Facts and Stats:
- Newcastle have netted a joint-league-high five goals from outside the box this season.
- Chelsea have averaged two goals per game in their last five Barclays Premier League trips to St James’ Park.
- Fernando Torres has had five shots on target in the Premier League this season with three of them coming last weekend against Manchester City.
- Newcastle have taken just five points from their last seven Premier League home games (W1 D2).
- Eden Hazard has created more chances from open play than any other player in the Premier League this season (19).
- Newcastle have conceded the joint-most headed goals this season (five, along with Fulham).
- Jose Mourinho has won only two of his last nine Premier League away games (D5 L2).
Stats compiled from Yahoo Sport
The Blues really struggle at St James’ Park, and Mourinho’s record there is poor at best. In addition, Newcastle will be looking to bounce back from two disappointing results over the last week, and so I expect them to get on the score sheet. Ultimately though, Chelsea should be bagging three points by 1-2.