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Premier League

  • 25 August 2012
  • • 17:30
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 41718

Chelsea - Newcastle Preview: Magpies seek to maintain impressive recent record at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea - Newcastle Preview: Magpies seek to maintain impressive recent record at Stamford Bridge


The visitors have not lost at the west London ground in their last four matches and the Blues’ last defeat in front of their home fans was at the hands of Alan Pardew's men



Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole
Lampard, Mikel, Ramires
Hazard, Torres, Mata

Simpson, Coloccini, S Taylor, Santon
Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez
Ba, Cisse

Chelsea could choose to make just the one change if David Luiz (knee) recovers from the injury which kept him out of the 4-2 midweek win over Reading. If not then Roberto Di Matteo will have no qualms in keeping Gary Cahill in the starting line-up.

Oscar and Daniel Sturridge will be pushing for a starting berth but the solid performances of Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and, especially, Eden Hazard mean they are unlikely to get their first start of the season this Saturday. Summer signing Marko Marin (hamstring) remains sidelined until September.

Newcastle will probably field the 4-4-2 formation which they started the Tottenham win with last weekend, although the Alan Pardew has the option to switch it to a 4-3-3 as he did in the second-half of the Premier League opener.

Shola Ameobi and his younger brother Sammy Ameobi (both hamstring) deplete the club’s striking options but Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba are expected to be fit for the Chelsea clash.

Fabio Coloccini (thigh), however, has recovered and is likely to captain the Magpies at Stamford Bridge. Full-back Ryan Taylor scored in the club's Thursday night Europa League 1-1 draw with Atromitos but is unlikely to usurp Danny Simpson or Davide Santon's positions this weekend.

  • Chelsea top the table heading into this Premier League clash because of their game in hand over 18 of the other 19 teams in the division. They have six points following a 2-0 away win at Wigan Athletic and a 4-2 home win on Wednesday over Reading.

  • Eden Hazard (pictured right) has five assists to his name in the first two matches of the season for the Blues. These include winning two penalties for Frank Lampard to clinically convert in consecutive games.

  • In their last four games (going into pre-season friendlies), Roberto Di Matteo's side have conceded eight goals, including three against Brighton and Hove Albion and two at home to Reading.
  • Newcastle United are unbeaten in their last four visits to Stamford Bridge - two league draws, one league win and one League Cup victory (a 4-3 thriller).

  • The Tyneside club have won five of their last 11 away matches in the league. The other six matches were all defeats - their most recent league draw away from the Sports Direct Arena was November 26 last year when they drew 1-1 with Manchester United.
  • The hosts on Saturday made two changes to their midweek line-up; the visitors this weekend made 10 changes, with only Cisse starting both the Tottenham win and the Atromitos draw.
  • Papiss Cisse scored one of the goals of the season in this fixture late last season when Newcastle conquered the soon-to-be-Champions-League-winners 2-0. In fact, Alan Pardew’s men were the last team to beat the Blues at their west London home.

  • Hatem Ben Arfa’s optimistic delusions aside, Newcastle United are not expected to challenge for the Premier League title unlike Chelsea. However, the north-east club finished ahead (fifth) of the Blues (sixth) last season.

Players to watch

Fernando Torres

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

The £50 million man opened his goalscoring account for the campaign with an effort that was clearly offside against Reading on Wednesday, but that will not bother the Chelsea striker. Instead of facing weeks of questions about when he will score like last season, he will be feeling confident in his ability.

In both Premier League matches he has looked sharp, although his finishing has not quite been shipshape. Newcastle’s defence is usually well organised but they were prone to conceding heavily away from home last season, especially in London. If the former Liverpool star straps on his best shooting boots then expect fireworks from Fernando Torres.

H. Ben Arfa

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Hatem Ben Arfa brought the Sports Direct Arena to life every time he received the ball in their weekend win with his mazy dribbles and sudden turns of pace. He won the Magpies their penalty with one of his trademark dribbles then calmly converted to ensure a 2-1 home win.

The Frenchman’s finest performances have been at home - can he carry that form down to Stamford Bridge on Saturday? With all eyes likely to be on Papiss Cisse as people reminisce about his physics-defying goal a few months back, watch out in case this tricky, in-form winger steals the show from under everybody's noses.

Editor's Prediction

This is going to be the toughest match for Chelsea so far this season and they will need to step up if they want to prove themselves as the title contenders they so badly want to be.

Newcastle’s Europa League match on Thursday will not have had too much of an effect on players as so many first-teamers were rested, while Wednesday night saw a full-strength Blues side pushed hard by Reading for 90 minutes.

Alan Pardew’s men have been fantastic at Stamford Bridge in the last two seasons and, after beating Tottenham last weekend, could grab another scalp in the shape of an away draw against the European champions on Saturday.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


Newcastle United


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
Newcastle United FC NEW
Newcastle United FC Newcastle United

Top 3 Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
3 - 1
Newcastle United FC NEW
Chelsea FC CHE
2 - 1
Newcastle United FC NEW
Chelsea FC CHE
2 - 0
Newcastle United FC NEW