Newcastle have made a full 10 changes from the side that started the game against Everton on Saturday afternoon at Goodison Park, and Chelsea captain John Terry returns to the London team tonight.
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has been as good as his word tonight, as only Fab Coloccini starts in the Carling Cup 3rd round tie at Stamford Bridge, from the Magpies team that started on Saturday.
As expected, Newcastle’s fringe first team players get a start in the team, although youngsters Ranger, Ferguson and Vuckic also get starts tonight.
We have to believe that Shane Ferguson has been impressive in training, and the 19 year-old starts at left-back. We had expected Tamas Kadar to play left-back, but the Hungarian is not in the squad at all, and we have to think that he’s picked up some kind of injury.
This is a great chance for Ferguson to show what he can do, after impressing against Accrington Stanley in the last round, and so too for the other two teenagers, Nile Ranger and Haris Vuckic, who are two of Newcastle’s best young players at the club currently.
Big guns Kevin Nolan, Mike Williamson, Joey Barton, Andy Carroll, Cheick Tiote, Hatem and Ben Arfa are all on the bench for the Magpies.
We have to applaud the team selection by Chris for tonight’s game, as he’s been brave enough to stick with three of Newcastle’s top youngsters, and also give the fringe players a start, while having the big guns on the bench, ready for potential action in this game.
It shows just how good our squad is these days from a short 12 months ago.
As expected Alan Smith will captain the side in Kevin’s absence and Sol Campbell gets his long awaited debut for Newcastle.
Howay The Lads!!
Chelsea: Ross Turnbull; Paulo Ferreira, Jeffrey Bruma, John Terry (c), Patrick van Aanholt; Yossi Benayoun, Ramires, Yury Zhirkov, Daniel Sturridge, Nicolas Anelka, Gael Kakuta
Subs: Petr Cech, Billy Clifford, Alex, Nathaniel Chalobah, Josh McEachran, Jacob Mellis, Salomon Kalou.
Newcastle United: Tim Krul; Ryn Taylor, Sol Campbell, Fab Coloccini, Shane Ferguson; Nile Ranger, Alan Smith (c), Haris Vuckic, Jonas Gutierrez; Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands.
Subs: Ole Soderberg, Kevin Nolan, Mike Williamson, Joey Barton, Andy Carroll, Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa.