Chelsea vs. Newcastle United: Squad news, TV & streaming information, preview

Shaun Botterill

Beware the letdown game against the bogey team from the north!

We're still riding high off the potent exhaust fumes of the drag racing Chelsea bus from Monday night.  Even the media at large have been tripping over themselves to sing our praises; that's how good that performance was.  Meanwhile, Mourinho invented the latest narrative-defining metaphor (aww, horsies!), and suddenly Chelsea are back in the title-favorite talk.  Incidentally, still nobody seems to notice Arsenal there at the top of the table, which is kind of funny.

On Saturday, eighth-place Newcastle come to town.  Losers of five of seven in all competitions, they certainly don't feel like an eighth-placed team however.  Fresh off a home derby day embarrassment to Sunderland and the loss of Yohan Cabaye to PSG, it's probably safe to describe them as "reeling."  Yet to underestimate them - with everybody seemingly expecting at least a 5-0 to Chelsea - would be a mistake.  Let's not forget that we've lost three of the last four against them.  Never easy; always tricky.

The Magpies have been a very streaky team under Pardew; they're only one result away from turning their fortunes around.  And it was a 2-0 win over Chelsea in November that sent them on their way to seven wins from nine.  Newcastle went into that match on the heels of a derby day defeat as well.

On the plus side, we will not have to deal with the cosmic curse on us that is the month of November this time around, so hopefully a similarly flat and uninspired performance as on that day can be avoided come tomorrow.

Date/Time: Saturday, February 8, 2014, 15:00 GMT; 10am EST; 8:30pm IST

Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6

Forecast: Rain, heavy rain

On TV: none (UK); USA, Mun2 (USA); Star Sports 4, Star Sports 2 HD (India); elsewhere

Online: Chelsea TV (audio only); BBC One (UK, audio only); NBC Sports Live Extra (USA); Star Sports (India)

Chelsea squad news: Marco van Ginkel and Fernando Torres remain out, despite the latter's return to training earlier this week.  A few others are carrying knocks, but Mourinho wasn't kind enough to divulge just who those might be.

The fixture list resumes its usual twice-weekly rate of matches in two of the next three weeks, so we will likely have to start rotating a bit more than it's been the case lately.  We do have new boy Mohamed Salah and supposed weakling Andre Schurrle ready to go I'm sure.  Though I think Mourinho will ensure these three points before potentially resting a player or two in the away match against either West Brom on Tuesday or Manchester City (FA Cup) on the weekend.

Newcastle squad news: As Steve told you, we will be seeing a much-changed Newcastle squad from the last time we faced them.  Besides losing Cabaye to economics and Loïc Remy to suspension, the Magpies lead the injury charts with eight players currently on the disabled list.

It goes a little something like this:  Fabricio Coloccini (MCL), Yoan Gouffran ("muscle injury"), Papiss Cisse (back), Cheick Tiote (hamstring), Ryan Taylor (ACL), Gael Bigirimana (ankle).  Shola Ameobi (illness) and Gabriel Obertan (knee) face fitness tests.  That's seven of the 14 players who took part in our last meeting potentially out.

View from the enemy: Coming Home Newcastle

Previously: This will be the 155th meeting between the two clubs, with Chelsea owning a 63-51 overall edge in wins.  As mentioned at the top, our recent record is rather bad however:  only two wins from the last eight (since 2010).  But at least we did get to see a wonder goal.

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