Newcastle will have their second tough game in as many days late tomorrow afternoon, when they take on the European Champions Chelsea on their home turf at Stamford Bridge in London.
And we think if Newcastle can get anything out of this game it will be a good result, although it’s still not clear which players will be fit enough to start the game.
We’d be very surprised if any of the players who started the game against Atromitos in Athens, Greece on Thursday night start the game tomorrow, but there are still injury doubts with Shola Ameobi and captain Fabricio Coloccini.
If both are fit then they could come in for Papiss Cisse and James Perch, who started both last Saturday and also on Thursday night, although with Papiss Cisse’s two fantastic goals in the 2-0 Newcastle win in this same fixture last season, it seems strange that he would not start this game.
But such are the challenges of also being in Europe this season, so this is the Newcastle team we think Alan Pardew will announce tomorrow for the game, which has a late kick-off time of 5:30 pm, and will be televised live around the world.
Simpson Taylor (S) Coloccini (C) Santon
Ben Arfa Cabaye Tiote Gutierrez
Ameobi (Sh) Demba Ba
Subs: Harper Perch Williamson Taylor (R) Anita Amalfitano Cisse
We could be wrong about the team and of course if either Shola or Fabricio fail their fitness tests then we think Perch and Cisse will be forced into starting two games in just two days.
And there will not be room on the bench for a number of top Newcastle players, but those on the bench did quite well on Thursday night, and it’s getting difficult for a lot of our players to make the match day squad of 18.
Ryan Taylor was the star man for Newcastle on Thursday night, so he is likely to see some action in the second half tomorrow.
Chelsea have started the league well with two good wins, but they looked a little dodgy at home on Wednesday evening against newly promoted Reading, and though they started the game well they showed some frailties at the back in defense.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech made a howler for one of the Reading goals, so we hope to see Newcastle putting in the shots against the Czech Republic goalkeeper.
The keys to the game for Newcastle are again that our defense can be strong and resilient, and we can hopefully rely on some opportunist goals from the likes of Demba Ba and Shola up front, and that certainly worked well last week with Demba Ba firing home a terrific goal and his first since early February.
And Ben Arfa will also be a key player for Newcastle, after his fine performance in the opening game of the season, when he was the match-winner for the Magpies.
Ba is in form at the moment, and he can score at almost any time and from almost anywhere in or around the penalty box, so it’s important that our defense stays strong and doesn’t let in any sloppy goals.
This is a big test for Newcastle, especially after playing an important Europa League game on Thursday night, and we’d be happy with a draw, but a win would be fantastic, and not out of Newcastle’s reach if our lads can play somewhere near their best.
What team would you play tomorrow at Chelsea?
And also let us know what you think the result will be.