Chelsea - Newcastle Preview: Stamford Bridge showdown sees both sides chasing top-four spot
As the hunt for a Champions League place reaches its conclusion, both teams will be searching for an invaluable win to reignite their hopes of finishing in the top four
By James Burford
Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Mikel, Lampard
Sturridge, Torres, Mata
Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon
Obertan, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Gutierrez
Fernando Torres is set to continue upfront for the Blues, after scoring an impressive hat-trick in the 6-1 victory over QPR on Sunday.
Roberto Di Matteo will be without centre-backs David Luiz (hamstring) and Gary Cahill (hamstring), but Branislav Ivanovic returns from suspension and is likely to slot in, with Jose Bosingwa moving to right-back.
Alan Pardew remains hopeful on the fitness of first-team regulars Danny Simpson and Yohan Cabaye, after both picked up minor knocks in the 4-0 defeat by Wigan.
Gabriel Obertan is poised to make a return to Premier League action following a three game absence due to an ankle injury, while Sylvain Marveaux (groin), Steven Taylor (Achilles) and Peter Lovenkrands (thigh) all remain on the long-term absentee list.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea would still qualify for next season's Champions League even if they don't finish in the top four, providing they win the final against Bayern Munich.
- Fernando Torres has got four goals in his last two games, including a vital equaliser against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, and a hat-trick against QPR.
- Sunday's 6-1 victory over QPR was the Blues' highest scoring match this season.
- Newcastle were on a run of six consecutive league wins before crashing to a 4-0 defeat by Wigan Athletic at the weekend.
- Demba Ba has failed to find the back of the net in 11 matches, while Papiss Cisse has scored 11 in that time.
- Yohan Cabaye has created the most chances of any Newcastle players this season, with the Frenchman carving out 45 goal-scoring opportunities.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-0 Newcastle United
- 20.18 %
Chelsea FC 3-1 Newcastle United
- 15.05 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 Newcastle United
- 11.78 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||02/11/2013||Newcastle United 2 - Chelsea FC 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||03/02/2013||Newcastle United 3 - Chelsea FC 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||26/08/2012||Chelsea FC 2 - Newcastle United 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||03/05/2012||Chelsea FC 0 - Newcastle United 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||03/12/2011||Newcastle United 0 - Chelsea FC 3|
|08/12/2013||Stoke City 3 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|05/12/2013||Sunderland 3 - Chelsea FC 4||EPL|
|02/12/2013||Chelsea FC 3 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|27/11/2013||Basel 1 - Chelsea FC 0||UCL|
|24/11/2013||West Ham United 0 - Chelsea FC 3||EPL|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
|10||Hatem Ben Arfa||Midfielder|
Times In EST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed