Chelsea vs Newcastle preview: Gary Cahill hoping to seize chance against blunt Newcastle attack

A look ahead to the Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge.

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The Independent Football

It’s a big game for… 

Gary Cahill

After Kurt Zouma’s nasty ACL Knee injury at the weekend, Chelsea look likely to once again call on dropped defender Gary Cahill.  With numerous questions by fans and pundits over Cahill’s performance and consistency, the England international will need to step it up to earn his spot back.  He is likely to struggle if Andros Townsend shows up with a point to prove, but keeping a cool head alongside partner John Terry must be number one priority.

Best stat… 

6: The Magpies have tallied up just six goals on the road this season, spelling bad news for the clash with Chelsea, who are desperate to turn their season around and save face.

Remember when… 

December 2014:  Newcastle ended Chelsea’s unbeaten 23 game run as they weather the storm through six minutes of extra time to hold on to the win.  Steven Taylor was sent off for the Magpies after 81 minutes leading to a nail-biting finish after Papiss Cissé put two behind the blues.  Cissé’s first strike ended a run of 498 minutes in all competitions since Chelsea had last conceded a goal.

Player to watch… 

Andros Townsend

Set to play his third game for the Magpies, new signing Townsend is no stranger to playing against world class opposition.  Chelsea may be looking very out of sorts this season under caretaker manager Guus Hiddink, but they still have world class players on paper who could show up on the day.  Newcastle have 11 players out injured at the moment, Townsend will be looking to capaitalise and cement his position as a first-team regular.

Past three-meetings… 

Chelsea 2 (Ramires Willian) Newcastle 2 (Pérez, Wijnaldum)
Premier League, September 2015.

Chelsea 2 (Oscar, Costa) Newcastle 0
Premier League, January 2015.

Newcastle 2 (Cissé 2) Chelsea 1 (Drogba)
Premier League, December 2014.

Form guide…  

Chelsea: DDWWDD

Newcastle: LDWLLW

Vital information… 

KICK-OFF TIME:  5:30pm 

TV: Live on Sky Sports1, highlights on BBC1