It’s likely that Fernando Torres, fresh from his hat-trick against QPR on Sunday, will start in tonight’s game against Newcastle.
Alan Pardew – not at all happy at Wigan
That’s because he’s unlikely to start on Saturday in the FA Cup Final, and if Chelsea follow Liverpool’s lead last night, they will field a predominantly second team against the Magpies, keeping their best players for Wembley.
But Liverpool came another cropper last night and lost to Fulham 1-0, and they looked hopeless, and it was the first time in their history that Fulham have won at Anfield.
John Henry and the other American owners of Liverpool will not be too pleased about that, but Kenny Dalglish could potentially save his job if he can lift the FA Cup on Saturday night, to go with the Carling Cup they have already won.
It seems that the Chelsea players are all in form right now, following their great cup exploits under stand-in manager Roberto Di Matteo, and we expect this to be a very tough game for Newcastle, whatever team they field.
It could be that a loss will see Newcastle’s hopes of Champions League football for next season smashed, but you can never rule out this Newcastle side this season, especially after a bad defeat.
Alan Pardew talked of Torres in his press conference yesterday, but he’s candid enough to say he hopes the Spanish striker doesn’t play well tonight:
“Listen, great players very rarely are down for long. I am pleased for him personally.” “I have been to a few games where I have seen him suffer, and don’t think as professionals you want to see that from a fellow professional.”
“He looks like he’s got a nice smile on his face – I just hope he isn’t smiling on Wednesday.” “They have been galvanised by the managerial change and the senior players kicking into gear and producing their best form at the right time.”
“Over the years, they have managed to get themselves in and around trophies, and they have got a great opportunity of getting Champions League football and two trophies.”
“Those players have a natural hunger no matter what they earn, and we are going to have to be on our guard because they are really in top form.” “One of the things Di Matteo has done there – and that probably would have made sense after the last manager – is to keep everybody happy.”
“That must start to get difficult now because he has to start to choose teams to play in cup finals, and that’s the real test of a manager, just keeping everybody onside and everybody pulling together.
“I think Wednesday night will be a game where he will be looking to make sure everybody is happy, so in terms of the team, I wouldn’t have a clue who he is going to pick.”
Newcastle need to get back to basics, and Alan Pardew will not have any elaborate tactical plans, like he did at Wigan, which backfired on the side big time – and before we even got to half time.
But it’s still advantageous to Newcastle that Chelsea are playing the FA Cup final in three days time, and their team tonight will not be their strongest by any means.
If the lads lose tonight they will know they will be in the Europa League next season, but we expect our players to give it all they have tonight, at Stamford Bridge.
And if they do that, we’ll accept the result – whatever it is.
Howay The Lads!!