Jose Mourinho has confirmed that there are no fresh injury concerns ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Newcastle United but is expected to rotate his squad following the League Cup win over Arsenal on Tuesday.
The Magpies will be without Steven Taylor and Paul Dummett whilst Fabricio Coloccini is a doubt, so Alan Pardew has a few selection issues to mull over.
Predicted Chelsea XI:
B. Ivanovic – D. Luiz – J. Terry (c) – A. Cole
Ramires – F. Lampard
A. Schurrle – Oscar – E. Hazard
Mourinho made wholesale changes to the starting XI in the League Cup and will restore most of the team that faced Manchester City last weekend to the line-up.
Cahill played in both of those matches but I think he’ll be left out at St James’ Park and Mourinho will return to a tried and tested back four.
In midfield the manager has preferred a combination of Ramires and Frank Lampard and although Mourinho says the latter is adjusting well to a deeper role I don’t believe they’re our most effective central partnership. John Obi Mikel really settled things down when coming into the midfield against City and his passing was faultless versus Arsenal but I don’t think he’ll start against Pardew’s side even though he has done enough to win a place.
Both Willian and Juan Mata impressed in the last fixture and are rightfully knocking on the door of the first team but may have to settle for a cameo role on Saturday. Cesar Azpilicueta and Ryan Bertrand also put in a good performance and provided a width that we sometimes lack, yet it’s unlikely either will displace Branislav Ivanovic or Ashley Cole for now.