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Premier League

  • 15 May 2011
  • • 13:30
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 41739
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Chelsea - Newcastle United Preview: Magpies seeking first victory at Stamford Bridge in nearly a quarter of a century

Chelsea - Newcastle United Preview: Magpies seeking first victory at Stamford Bridge in nearly a quarter of a century

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Carlo Ancelotti's side look to maintain their exemplary home form in what could be the Italian's final game in charge at the Bridge, with Toon captain Kevin Nolan set to miss out

 


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PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Cole; Lampard, Ramires, Essien; Torres, Drogba, Malouda.

The apparent infallibility of David Luiz has demised in recent weeks, with the defender looking a little too eager to come forward and intercept at times, and he may be replaced by fellow Brazilian Alex in the centre of defence.

Ramires looks set to take the place of John Obi Mikel, whilst Carlo Ancelotti may take advantage of what could be an end of season meander to give Fernando Torres a further opportunity to bed in at Stamford Bridge.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Enrique; Gutierrez, Tiote, Smith, Barton; Ameobi, Lovendkrands.
Alan Pardew had indicated that midfielder Chiek Tiote may be rested to avoid any possible suspension that would lead into next season, yet Kevin Nolan’s absence due to ankle surgery may mean the former Southampton boss has to revise his plans.

Alan Smith could take his place in central midfield in an otherwise unchanged starting XI, although expect youngsters Nile Ranger and Shane Ferguson to feature from the bench.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Chelsea have won their last six games at home in the Premier League, while Newcastle have only managed one victory on the road in their last eight away games.
  • The visitors’ short and long-term records at Stamford Bridge do not bode well. Newcastle have failed to score in six of their last seven visits to the west London club, while they have only won two of their previous 44 league matches at the Bridge.
  • The last time the Blues were defeated at home by Saturday’s opponents in a top-flight clash was November 22 1986, with the Magpies winning 3-1. Since then they have lost 11 and drawn six of their 17 league games there.
  • Alan Pardew (pictured right) - and Chris Hughton previously - has named an unchanged side on 11 occasions this season, more than any other team in the Premier League. Don’t expect the Magpies to add to that total, with Kevin Nolan joining a host of players including Hatem Ben Arfa, Stephen Ireland and Dan Gosling on the sidelines.
  • If Newcastle are to upset the odds on Saturday they will need to be quick off the mark, having only scored two goals in the second half of their last nine games.

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Players to watch

F. Lampard

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
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The central midfielder has bagged four goals in Chelsea’s last five games, including a potential lifeline which failed to materialise in the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford against Manchester United last Sunday.

Expect Lampard & Co to take advantage of a weakened Newcastle midfield, with the 32-year-old’s ability to exploit space in front of the backline a likely point of penetration of the Magpies' defence.

Shola Ameobi

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
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Admittedly the Newcastle striker has looked repeatedly out of his depth in his ten-year career at St. James’ Park, yet he bagged a double, including a last minute winner, in November’s 4-3 League Cup victory at Stamford Bridge.

With striking partner Peter Lovendkrands unlikely to have the prowess to cause problems for the Chelsea defence, any chance of a result may rest on the physical presence of Ameobi. If the 29-year-old can engage himself that is.

Editor's Prediction

Despite a host of Premier League managers coming out in defence of Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti in recent weeks, this will more than likely be the Italian’s swansong at Stamford Bridge.

Newcastle’s mediocre form looks set to continue against a Chelsea side on song at home, and expect a convincing performance from the hosts, who will need victory to appease the fans and board alike after a trophyless campaign.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Chelsea

Newcastle United

Wins
2
0
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
Draw
Newcastle United FC NEW
Newcastle United FC Newcastle United
76%
16%

Top 3 Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
3 - 0
Newcastle United FC NEW
Chelsea FC CHE
2 - 0
Newcastle United FC NEW
Chelsea FC CHE
9 - 9
Newcastle United FC NEW

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