Chelsea supporters will enjoy the rarity of a 3 p.m kick-off this Saturday as they welcome Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge. The Magpies got the better of Jose Mourinho's men in the last meeting between the two sides, and Alan Pardew would relish the chance to do the double over the Blues.
Branislav Ivanovic's winner at Manchester City on Monday was the right-back's second goal of the season, and he will likely keep his place alongside John Terry and Gary Cahill. Ashley Cole will likely continue his extended spell on the bench, with Cesar Azpilicueta set to start at left-back.
Mourinho may have gone with a three-man midfield at Manchester City but should revert to the more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for the visit of Newcastle. David Luiz will give way to leave Nemanja Matic and Ramires as the holding pair, with the Serbian having impressed greatly since his return from Benfica. Matic was unlucky not to score at the Etihad, and his passing accuracy of 86 percent was the highest of any Chelsea player, per WhoScored.com.
Oscar should return to the starting XI on Saturday having only made a cameo appearance at Manchester City. Eden Hazard will continue his personal quest to reach the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, as reported by BBC Sport, and will be hoping to add to his tally of nine goals for the season. Willian will complete the attacking trio, providing strength and pace on the right.
Fernando Torres was back in training this week having recovered from the knee injury he sustained in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Manchester United. However, Jose Mourinho told the club website that this fixture is likely to come too soon for the Spaniard:
He's almost there, but not there. We won't risk him, if it was the last game of the season I would say let's go and do it. But we have lots of matches to play and it's not right to risk him now. If we lose a player now we lose him for a long time, it's not the moment to lose players, it's the moment to help them out. Tuesday is a much better possibility. We have a couple of little things, not really injuries, that we need to assess, but in terms of injuries it's only Nando and Van Ginkel.
This could see Demba Ba start against his former club, although it is more likely that he will be brought on as an impact substitute if needed, leaving Samuel Eto'o to continue his run in the starting XI.
According to the pre-match report on the Chelsea website, Newcastle have won each of their last four away games in London and will be looking to put in a better performance than the one that saw them slump to a 3-0 defeat in the Tyne and Wear derby last week.
Newcastle know that they can beat Chelsea, but with Loic Remy suspended and Yohan Cabaye having left for Paris Saint-Germain, a victory for the Magpies would represent a huge upset.