It will be Chelsea up against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, as the Blues go into this game at the back of a 1-1 draw against fierce rivals Manchester United last weekend. The west London side are looking to improve their league position, as they currently lie in 13th place in the standings and will want to further climb up the points table with a win in this one. Guus Hiddink has brought some sort of solidity to the squad though there is still a lot of room for improvement as they get set to take on the Magpies at home this weekend.
At the moment, Chelsea have a total of 30 points from 25 matches and are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions. Also, at present, they have a total of five players out injured including the likes of Alexander Pato, Kurt Zouma and Radamel Falcao, who will not be available for this match. Loic Remy and Diego Costa are two players who are doubtful, but could possibly make their return to the squad on time for this one.
Thibaut Courtois’s return at goal has been a huge boost for the Londoners, who have performed much better now. Asmir Begovic did try his best to earn some points for his side with crucial saves in games though he does not have the same presence as the Belgian international. Courtois will once again be expected to help Chelsea earn all three points at home.
The defence will consist of a backline once again with Branislav Ivanović on the right wing and Cesar Azpilicueta on the left. At the center, it will once again be the pairing of John Terry and Gary Cahill, with Kurt Zouma out injured at the moment. It will be interesting to see whether they can coordinate well at the back and keep the Newcastle attack quiet after a good display in the hard-fought draw against Manchester United.
In front of the defensive line will once again start the pairing of Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas, who will not only be expected to provide defensive cover but also create chances on the counter-attack. Further, in front of them will feature the trio of Willian, Oscar and Eden Hazard, who need to be more consistent and have failed to deliver many times this term when their team have needed them to. Willian has still scored some crucial goals for his side though the other two attackers are going through a slump at present. Pedro should be dropped to the bench for this one though he is fit as well.
Diego Costa will once again start as the lone striker as he will lead the front-line. The Spanish international will be expected to score some early goals and give his side the advantage though he might be playing with a facial injury. Loic Remy might also be fit on time and could possibly make it to the bench, depending on how Hiddink wants to use the Frenchman.