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Newcastle United - Match Preview


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The Match
After an astonishing win at Etihad to blow the title race wide open, Chelsea host Newcastle tomorrow at 15.00 GMT in the 25th round of the Premier League in hopes of maintaining their amazing 2014 streak!

Team News
Although the Blues are still only a couple of points shy of table leader’s Arsenal, they have lost their last two meetings against Newcastle – losing 2-0 and 3-2, both at Saint Jaime’s Park . A win is vital and anything less than that would be a disappointment, especially a defeat. Not only would it be Chelsea’s very first home league loss under Jose Mourinho, but it would also be a huge upset for the fans, the players and their title dream.

The Special One seems pretty happy with the way the team is performing and has finally found a consistent starting XI. He is very unlikely to change systems - so don’t expect anything different from the 4-2-3-1 Chelsea has been playing since his arrival - but he will definitely go out with a more attacking team though (probably with Oscar in for David Luiz). The back four will probably be the same that played against Manchester City; Matic and Ramires have a good chance of starting; Eto’o is almost a certainty (since Torres is not fully recovered from a knee injury); and the trio behind him has a good chance of having Hazard – Oscar – Willian (even though Salah could surprise everyone and make his Chelsea debut on the RW).

Nevertheless, whoever is selected to play will have to play well and get the result. A win is crucial if Chelsea has any intention of winning the league!

About the Opposition
Newcastle United is having a complete roller-coaster season this year, going as low as the relegation zone and as high as seventh place. However, they only made 4 of their last 18 points (W1 D1 L4), which includes a second straight loss to rivals Sunderland and has led them to fall to the 8th place (3 behind Man United). Their away form is not something to be very proud of either, but Alan Pardew has already stated his team will face Chelsea confident. Which means we have a great chance of witnessing a wide open, fast pace, attacking match on Saturday afternoon.

With that in mind, it is hard to imagine Newcastle sitting back defending for 90 minutes and repeating Sam Allardyce’s tactics in the West Ham 0-0 draw. Their fans will be expecting them to attack and go for the win so they can get away from the latest results and push for an European qualification.

Newcastle plays on a modern 4-2-3-1 as well, with dynamic midfielders and responsible wingers. Their strength lies on the smooth transition their midfield provides from defending to attacking. They also have a superb keeper who likes to play well against us, on Krul too.

However, the Magpies are completely depleted. Both their main strikers are out: Cissé with a bad back injury and Remy out due to a red card; Tiote is also injured with a hamstring; Coloccini and Obertan have knee problems; Gouffran with thigh issues; and they just sold Cabaye to PSG (one of the best midfielders in the EPL, according to Jose himself).

Probable Lineups:
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azi; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Eto’o.
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, S. Taylor, Haldara; Sissoko, Anita; Ben Arfa, Ameobi, Santon; Jong.

Stats and Facts:
1) Chelsea are unbeaten in 72 Premier League home games with Jose Mourinho as boss (W56 D16 L0).
2) Newcastle have won three of their last four Premier League games against Chelsea (W3 D0 L1).
3) The Magpies have lost just one of their last four Premier League trips to Stamford Bridge (W1 D2 L1).
4) Alan Pardew’s side have failed to score in five of their last six Premier League games, losing four and winning just one in this run.
5) Samuel Eto’o has scored seven goals in his last seven games in all competitions at Stamford Bridge.
6) Newcastle have won three and lost just one of their last five Premier League games away from home.
7) Chelsea have won six of their last seven Premier League games.
8) Eden Hazard has embarked on 162 dribbles in the Premier League this season, more than any other player.
9) Since losing 3-2 at Stoke, Chelsea have conceded only three goals in nine games.

(Stats above obtained from Daily Mail)

Betting Odds (Full Time):

Chelsea Win – 1/4
Draw – 9/2
Newcastle Win – 11/1

(Odds obtained from SkyBet)

This game will be live on BBC One in the UK. You can see where/if the game will be live your country here. Note that this game will NOT be broadcast live in a lot of regions, but there should be a lot of streams available.

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The Match

After an astonishing win at Etihad to blow the title race wide open, Chelsea host Newcastle tomorrow at 15.00 GMT in the 25th round of the Premier League in hopes of maintaining their amazing 2014 streak!

Call me optimistic, but i was going for a 2-1 to chelsea at Etihad ;) .

Brace yourself Krul and co. i expect shots flying towards their goal! :blue scalf:

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