The home side has not lost a single game in the Premier League in its own backyard, as it welcomes the Londoners, who have struggled to find consistency of late.
Simpson, Taylor, Coloccini, Taylor
Obertan, Cabaye, Guthrie, Lovenkrands
Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Meireles, Lampard
Sturridge, Drogba, Mata
Meanwhile, Leon Best remains a doubt as he is recovering from a groin problem.
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas does not have too many injury concerns to deal with, with long-term absentee Michael Essien (anterior cruciate ligament) and Josh McEachran (ankle) the only players who will miss the encounter at the Sports Direct Arena. Goalkeeper Henrique Hilario is a doubt due to an illness.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Newcastle United has locked horns with Chelsea 66 times at home, winning 34, losing 15 and drawing 17 matches in the process.
- Pardew's men are placed seventh in the halftime table. This means that if all matches ended after the first period, then the Tyneside outfit would not be sitting on a European spot, as it is now.
- Demba Ba (pictured right) is currently in the Premier League top 10 scorers' list, with nine goals to his name.
- Chelsea is unbeaten in its last eight Premier League games against Newcastle United.
- But the team's recent form has been poor, as it has lost three of its last four matches in all competitions.
- Villas-Boas' men have also been below par in defense this season, particularly on their travels. Prior to the recent 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers, the Blues had been unable to keep a clean sheet in their previous eight away games in the league.