Newcastle welcome Chelsea to St. James Park in Saturday’s early Premier League kickoff (8:45 am ET, watch live on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
The hosts come into the match a bit weary from their midweek exertions in the Capital One Cup. The Magpies managed to force Manchester City into extra time, only to see Costel Pantilimon deny Papiss Cisse before Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko scored to give City the win. That only compounded Newcastle’s misery, after they lost the derby last week to a late goal from Fabio Borini that gave rivals Sunderland all three points.
That’s three times in three matches that Newcastle have let their opponents back into the match, and it’s unlikely to think their defensive woes are over. Central defender Steven Taylor is still out injured, as is captain Fabricio Coloccini. Paul Dummett, who just signed a new long-term contract with the club, is also unavailable. Shola Ameobi did well midweek and is rewarded with a start, alongside Yoan Gouffran and Loïc Rémy.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are on the rise. Jose Mourinho rested several players in the midweek cup match against Arsenal, but Chelsea still came away 2-0 winners. In fact, they’re perfect in all competitions in the month of October, and haven’t lost a Premier League match since Everton in mid-September.
Fernando Torres, who grabbed the match winner when capitalizing on Manchester City’s defensive error last week, takes his place up front. Juan Mata is also included in the starting lineup, along with Oscar and Eden Hazard.
Newcastle starting XI: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Sissoko, Tiote, Cabaye, Gouffran, Shola Ameobi, Remy
Subs: Elliot, Tavernier, Anita, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Ben Arfa, Cisse
Chelsea starting XI: Cech; Ivanovic, D Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Torres
Subs: Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Mikel, Willian, Schurrle, Eto’o