It seems every game for Newcastle this season is an important game, and the game today at Chelsea is no different.
But the expectation today are not high this afternoon. That’s very unlike the last two game when we played the bottom two teams and only got a single point with extremely poor displays. In the last 5 years at Chelsea, Newcastle have not scored, and the cumulative score is 16-0 in the London club’s favor.
So if anybody was to have a bet on this game and went for Newcastle, they may end up in a hospital for the disillusioned. But this is Newcastle, and the team’s terrible inconsistency this season may be an advantage in today’s game. Bigger shocks have happened in football, as we all know.
As far as the team go Chelsea are having a bad time of it right now with both injuries and susepensions. Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is out with a thigh injury, with Ricardo Carvalho and Ashley Cole suspended, having both been sent off with straight red cards in their Boxing Day 4-4 draw with Aston Villa. Villa looked the better side in the the first half before conceding a penalty just minutes before the interval, and Zat Knight was sent off for that challenge. The game then turned a few times before ending up all square, when Gareth Barry equalized in the last minute with a penalty conceded by Ashley Cole. It was just a terrific game to watch.
John Terry (foot), Carlo Cudicini (rib), Didier Drogba (knee), Florent Malouda (knee) and Claude Makelele (ear) are also out of the Chelsea side so there’s not doubt their side is weakened by the absence of their best players.
Of course Newcastle have their own problems and Joey Barton will not play after being remanded in custody in Liverpool, charged with common assault and affray. In short, he’s in the slammer. Striker Michael Owen (thigh) could return to the substitutes’ bench, and Claudio Cacapa and Nicky Butt may figure after being rested at Wigan.
We expect Newcastle to line up as follows in an attacking 4-4-2 formation:
Beye Faye Taylor N’Zogbia
Milner Emre Butt Duff
Viduka Smith (c)
Subs: Harper Cacapa Geremi Owen Enrique
That team on paper looks well balanced and quite strong. We think Sam may give young Oba Martins a rest today, and we’d like to see Jose Enrique play some part in the game. He was obviously frustrated coming on near the end in the terrible Wigan game and Jose needs to be given an outing shortly, and should be given a chance today.
That’s what we think. How about you?
Comments very welcome, and we warmly welcome Chelsea fans to our web-site today. 😀