Preview: Newcastle United v Chelsea on Saturday, February 2nd

31/01/2013 no comments »
Preview: Newcastle United v Chelsea on Saturday, February 2nd

Senegalese striker Demba Ba returns to his old club on Saturday 2nd February as Chelsea travel to Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park ground in the Barclays Premier League.

Ba will be looking to start the game and hopefully score against his former club after Fernando Torres was picked ahead of him in Wednesday’s shock 2-2 draw away at Reading, before he eventually came on in the 92nd minute. On the other hand, Newcastle will want to ensure back-to-back wins after securing a 2-1 win against struggling Aston Villa at Villa Park on Tuesday in an impressive performance. Newcastle have also been struggling as of late, only winning two of their last ten games, as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion. They currently sit in 15th place in the table and are only four points from the relegation places, which is certainly a far cry from last season’s 5th place finish. At the other end of the table, Chelsea are currently in third place, six points behind second placed Manchester City and thirteen points behind leaders Manchester United. Despite this, Chelsea have also not been their usual selves lately, only winning four of their last ten games. The last three of the London clubs’ games have resulted in disappointing draws against Reading, Brentford in the FA Cup and Swansea in the League Cup, which resulted in them being knocked out of the competition but it is surely only a matter of time before they regain their form.

Newcastle have been busy in the January transfer window, improving the squad by signing the likes of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mathieu Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko, who set Papiss Cisse up for his goal on Tuesday. All are expected to retain their places and start on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Sylvain Marveaux both may not play due to injury. Hatem Ben Arfa is definitely out with a Hamstring injury and Chiek Tiote is at the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast. Chelsea will be without Eden Hazard, who is serving the second game of his three match ban after supposedly kicking a ballboy. Juan Mata and David Luiz may not play as a result of injury, with Petr Cech also a doubt as he is still recovering from a slight knock. However, captain John Terry is expected to make his way back into the squad after battling back from injury.

So, with Newcastle seemingly on the up with a strengthened squad and Chelsea not performing to the best of their ability lately, this could prove to be a very exciting game, with a potential upset on the cards!

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