Newcastle captain Michael Owen returns to the side for his first start since injuring his groin several weeks ago in training.
It’s local boy Shola Ameobi who makes way for the captain, and Owen will partner Oba Martins in attack, with both players have 6 goals to their credit this season.
Danny Guthrie, as expected, replaces Joey Barton (knee) in central midfield, while Sebastien Bassong continues in the center of our defense, in place of the injured Steven Taylor (groin). It will be a big test for the 22 year-old Frenchman, who will up against Nicolas Anelka.
And Jose Enrique surprisingly keeps his place at left-back after having a poor game against Wigan Athletic last week.
17 year-old Kazenga LuaLua is named among the Newcastle substitutes for the first time since the final day of last season, with Cameroon star Geremi not even on the bench this afternoon.
For Chelsea, English Internationals Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard are passed fit and both start.
Chelsea: Petr Cech, Jose Bosingwa, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry (c), John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Florent Malouda, Deco, Nicolas Anelka
Subs: Michael Ballack, Scott Sinclair, Wayne Bridge, Paulo Ferreira, Salomon Kalou, Carlo Cudicini, Mineiro
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Sebastien Bassong, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Guthrie, Nicky Butt, Damien Duff, Jonas Gutierrez, Oba Martins, Michael Owen (c)
Subs: Steve Harper, Charles N’Zogbia, Claudio Cacapa, David Edgar, Kazenga LuaLua, Shola Ameobi, Andy Carroll
Referee: Phil Dowd