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Match Preview: Chelsea FC vs Newcastle United FC

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Chelsea have been the talk of the town after their emphatic display against Manchester City at the Etihad the previous Monday. Jose Mourinho’s tactics & the Blues’ gritty display have re-affirmed Chelsea’s credentials as a potential title candidate, in spite of “The Special One” vehemently refusing it.

This weekend, Chelsea face Newcastle United in a low-key affair as the Magpies, who have struggled to win off late, visit London.

DATE & TIME: February 8, 2014 at 10:00 EST; February 8, 2014 at 15:00 GMT; February 8, 2014 at 16:00 WAT; February 8, 2014 at 17:00 CAT; February 8, 2014 at 18:00 EAT; February 8, 2014 at 20:30 IST.

VENUE: Stamford Bridge, London, England.

TV/STREAMING NEWS: The match will be telecast live on Fox Sports 1 on Australia, Supersport Select & SLGO in African sub-continent, Sportsnet 360/West in Canada, DIRECTV in Colombia, Canal+ Sport in France, Star Sports 4 & Star Sports HD2 in India, Fox Sports HD in Italy, J Sports 2 in Japan, Fox Sports & Fox Sports Plus HD in Malaysia, Fox Sports 2 in Netherlands, Canal+ Yomvi & Gol Stadium in Spain, BBC One in UK and Mun2 & USA Network in USA.
The match is available online on  NBC Sports Live Extra in USA.
Chelsea TV will have live audio of the game.
You can also catch the game on Absolute Radio in UK and TalkSport Radio if you’re in Australia, Canada, Malaysia or US.

CHELSEA FC SQUAD NEWS: Jose Mourinho has confirmed her won’t risk Fernando Torres, although the Spaniard is back in training. Marco van Ginkel is the only other player out injured. Mohammad Salah will be selected for the game.
Predicted Starting XI: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Matic, Lampard, Schurrle, Oscar, Salah, Eto’o.

NEWCASTLE UNITED FC SQUAD NEWS: Loïc Remy is suspended due to the red card he received against Norwich. Ryan Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Gael Bigirmana, Gabriel Obertain and Papiss Demba Cissé are injured. Yoan Gouffran remains doubtful as well. Tioté will miss the game due to a hamstring injury he picked up recently.
Predicted Starting XI: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Taylor, Santon, Gutierrez, Anita, Arfa, Sissoko, Ameobi, Jong.

REFEREE: Howard Webb.

FORM INDEX: Chelsea – WWWWDW; Newcastle – LLLWDL.

THOUGHTS FROM THE ENEMY: Alan Pardew admitted that he’s had to pick his Newcastle players up in training this week after the derby defeat to Sunderland, but insisted that his side were in decent shape going into Saturday’s game at Chelsea.

“It’s an important period because we have got two really tough games. I think everybody would appreciate that – but we really do need to put a performance on the pitch that contains enthusiasm, desire and a real purpose, and that’s what we are going to do.”

FUN TRIVIA:

  • Chelsea have gained 14 points from losing positions this season, still the best record in the Barclays Premier League.
  • If selected, Branislav Ivanovic will make his 250th appearance for the club as well as his 150th Premier League start.
  • Chelsea have the tightest defence in the Premier League, conceding only 20 goals in 24 games including 10 clean sheets.
  • Newcastle have failed to score in five of their last six Premier League games.
  • Chelsea have won 17 and drawn four of our last 21 home Premier League games.

Newcastle are expected to park the bus when they come visiting the Stamford Bridge. With Remy suspended, the Magpies have a totally unknown commodity Luuk De Jong up front. Chelsea need to follow the basics and a solid performance will lead to three vital points. Any measure of complacency, however, can prove to be adverse.

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