TEAM NEWS: Fernando Torres dropped after League Cup defeat as struggling Chelsea visit Newcastle

The stuttering Spanish striker makes way for Didier Drogba while Oriol Romeu comes in for his first Premier League start, as the home side field Demba Ba alone up front
Chelsea have handed Didier Drogba a starting berth with Fernando Torres dropping back to the bench for Saturday's Premier League visit to Newcastle.

Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata join the Ivorian in taking on the task of breaking down an impressive Magpies defence.

Oriel Romeu has been handed his first Premier League start after impressing in cup competitions and league cameos. The midfielder was signed from Barcelona in the summer and will be asked to play the holding role in Andre Villas-Boas' midfield.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have decided to go with a lone striker in the shape of Demba Ba. The Ameobi brothers, Shola and Sammy, and Leon Best must content themselves with a place on the bench as Alan Pardew hands a rare start to Peter Lovenkrands, while Hatem Ben Afra plays just behind Ba.

The home side have been the surprise package in the Premier League this season and will prove tough opposition for the Blues, who are yet to find their best form this season.

Newcastle (4-4-1-1): Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, R Taylor; Obertan, Cabaye, Guthrie, Lovenkrands; Ben Arfa; Ba

Subs: Harper, Santon, Perch, Gosling, Sammy Ameobi, Best, Shola Ameobi.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Romeu, Lampard; Sturridge, Drogba, Mata

Substitues: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Bertrand, Meireles, Malouda, Kalou, Torres.