Team News And Preview: Chelsea FC vs Newcastle FC

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Florent Malouda of Chelsea (R) celebrates with Fernando Torres and Ramires as he scores their sixth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge on April 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

We have a big chance to move up the table tomorrow, a win will place us at worst in 5th place with only two games to play, a loss would effectively end any chance at qualifying for the Champions League without winning the final in Munich. Spurs will square off against a desperate Bolton side who'll likely view a point as a fantastic result, so we'll all be keeping half an eye on that game as well.

The magpies were the surprise of the league when we last met, and Alan Pardew felt a bit hard done that David Luiz was not sent off in the game's opening minutes. That would have been harsh (as Demba Ba was offside), but it would be interesting to see where Newcastle would have been right now had they managed to knock us off in December. They'll still be eyeing a finish above Chelsea, but without a win at the Bridge that seems very unlikely at this point.

Time/Date: 19:45 BST (2:45 PM EST), Wednesday 5/2/12

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London

Team News

Not much has changed on the injury front since Sunday, both David Luiz and Gary Cahill will still be missing with injury as the Magpies make their way south. Branislav Ivanovic will again be available for selection after serving his 3 match ban for hobbit punching.

Tactics

Both teams need three points from this one, so I'd have to assume we'll see both teams going all in for this one. We have a cup final on the weekend though, and Roberto Di Matteo has generally rested his big guns for those types of occasions. I'd fully expect Di Matteo to run out his standard 4-2-3-1 that has been so successful for us lately, and the center forward position will be a big talking point. Do we play Drogba today or Sunday? Can Drogs and Torres play together? Do we want Torres to lead the attack against his old club? Here's my best guess at what we'll see, but it's only a guess.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech, Jose Bosingwa, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ryan Bertrand, Oriol Romeu, Raul Meireles, Daniel Sturridge, Florent Malouda, Salomon Kalou, Fernando Torres

It's definitely a must win game if we want any chance at 4th, but I still feel Di Matteo will prioritize the FA Cup and winning in Munich. Frankly, even a second choice side should be able to win at home against the Magpies despite their impressive season. Let's go Bolton, and let's go Blues!

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