Newcastle v CHELSEA: Preview

Venue: St James’ Park
Date: Saturday, 26 September
Kick-off: 17:30 BST

After another solid performance midweek, this evening’s late game takes us to one of Jose Mourinho’s least favourite grounds with a trip to St James park.
To say Newcastle are on a bit of a poor run is probably being generous although until recently we weren’t doing any better, so we should keep in mind how quickly things can turn around. Since our bad spell, the last 3 games have yielded 3 wins and 10 goals with just one conceded.
Whilst Newcastle might be on a bad run, historically they’ve won their last three at home to us and this is one ground Jose Mourinho is yet to get a win at – let’s hope he breaks that duck today.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Newcastle boss Steve McClaren says “Do we fear it? Do we say we don’t want to play in that? We have got to. We have got to get people ready for Saturday, ready to fight, and one result turns it around. You have got to say and you have got to believe – which I do – that could be Saturday.
We have got to take a roll call and have a look at things. I don’t think it matters what we do over the next two days – it’s about mentality now. It’s about players who stand up and want to fight and want to be out there and want to turn it around, because that’s what’s needed – nothing else.”

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho meanwhile, in assessing our players after the midweek game says “John was solid, normal, no problem. We brought a good solid defence. The midfield was really good. Mikel and Ramires played amazingly well. It was a good game for Falcao, a good 90 mins – important for fitness. He worked a lot, ran a lot, moved a lot. He was in the game a lot. For the first time this season he was on the pitch for a long, long time so it was a good game for him.

SQUAD NEWS
For Newcastle, Mitrovic returns from suspension but the club are listing 10 injuries in the squad ahead of the game.
For Chelsea, Diego Costa sits the game out after his retrospective ban. Willian is injured along with long term absentee Courtois.

TEAMS
NEWCASTLE (Possible line-up): Krul; Janmaat, Haidara, Mbemba, Coloccini; Wijnaldum, Sissoko; Colback, Thauvin, Perez; Cisse
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Begovic; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Zouma, Rahman; Matic, Fabregas; Pedro, Oscar, Hazard; Remy

LAST SEASON
Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea (6th December 2014)

CURRENT FORM
Newcastle: DLDLLL
Chelsea: DLWLLW

OTHER STUFF
Newcastle have won their last three at home to us
Jose Mourinho has never won a Premier League game at St James’ Park
Steve McClaren has won just two of his last 19 league games as a manager
Newcastle have scored the fewest goals (3) and had the fewest shots (37, excl. blocked) in the Premier League so far in 2015-16.
Chelsea have allowed their opponents a league-high 40 shots on target in the Premier League this season and have conceded 12 goals
Three of Newcastle’s four Premier League defeats have seen them behind at the break Newcastle stopped Chelsea’s unbeaten run last season

PREDICTION
Jose hasn’t had a win at St James’ Park and we’ve lost our last three away there, so it’s by no means a happy hunting ground for us. Mind you, Diego Costa’s absence for us has been pretty fruitful in the past with us winning 8 and losing none of the games he’s missed – as much as I love him, I’m hoping that trend continues today.

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