Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains out with a back injury, while Cesc Fabregas will not be considered ahead of his likely move to Monaco. Alvaro Morata is an injury doubt for Chelsea, having missed Tuesday’s League Cup semi-final against Tottenham because of a minor hamstring problem.
Newcastle’s on-loan winger Kenedy is ineligible to face his parent club. Jonjo Shelvey, Paul Dummett and Karl Darlow are all injured but Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark are fit.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
@Wilsonfooty: Chelsea fans still love few things more than putting one over on Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard conducted himself with great dignity during his short spell at Stamford Bridge, even winning the Europa League in the face of opposition from those who should have been supporting him.
If Benitez and Sarri do find a moment to compare notes on Chelsea and Napoli (both men have managed both clubs), I’d love to be a fly on the wall.
Whether Newcastle are equipped to do much more than attempt to keep the score down, we shall see. Benitez was – even for him – very cautious in Newcastle‘s home game with Chelsea back in August, and it’s unlikely he’ll be any other way in London.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri on possible signings: “As you know very well I am not involved in the market. I spoke with the club and the club knows very well my opinion. In my opinion we need two players.
“Then it depends on the club decision. I don’t know anything about the market day by day or minute by minute.”
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez: “Last January, we were in a difficult position, but we started winning and we finished 10th.
“It’s a big city and it’s a massive club. Some people say you have to do this and do that, but the reality is that when we work together and we are united, we are stronger. We saw that in the Championship and we saw that last season.”
It looks like the Blues are going to get a new striker in January, we just don’t know who it will be yet. They need one because they have been a bit short of goals recently but, in the meantime, I still think they will be too strong for the Magpies.
- Chelsea have won the last six times they have hosted Newcastle in all competitions.
- They have lost only one of their 23 home Premier League games against Newcastle (W16, D6) – a 2-0 defeat in May 2012.
- The Blues won 2-1 in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
- Chelsea have won four of their last six league matches (D1, L1).
- However, they have taken just one point from their last two home league games and failed to score in either of those matches.
- The last time they went three top-flight games at home without scoring was back in November 1993.
- Chelsea have scored just 11 goals in their past 10 Premier League fixtures.
- Eden Hazard has scored six goals in five Premier League appearances at Stamford Bridge against Newcastle.
- Newcastle’s only victory in their past eight Premier League games came against bottom side Huddersfield.
- The Magpies are winless in 12 away league games against the top-six sides, losing the last nine in a row.
- They have equalled their lowest points tally after 21 matches of a Premier League season – they also had 18 at this stage in 2015-16, when they were relegated.
- Newcastle have scored just four goals in their last eight Premier League games.
- They have scored four second-half goals this season, the joint-lowest tally in the league; Chelsea have scored 21.
- Salomon Rondon has scored each of Newcastle’s last three away goals in the Premier League.
Source: BBC News