Chelsea v NUFC - Carling Cup Preview
Newcastle visit Chelsea in the 7th cup clash this millennium between the two sides Chelsea have not lost in the last 12 ties. Will this be lucky 7 for the Mags and unlucky 13 for the Blues?
Until this draw was made, the Carling Cup would have been seen as Newcastle`s best chance of European qualification this season. Looking at Chelsea`s recent records, the task seems intimidating. There is still a battle to be won.
Chelsea`s last domestic cup campaign was of course the FA Cup which they won. On the way they beat 6 teams scoring 17 and conceding 1. In the league, they have won their last 10 games, scoring 38 and conceding 1
helsea, however, have the smallest named squad of senior players, having registered only 19 by the Premier League deadline.
After playing on Sunday, and with their next 3 fixtures against Man City, Marseille and Arsenal, some of the key men are bound to be rested.
Ancelloti will probably pick Turnbull in goal, a giant from Bishop Auckland who started his career at Middlesbrorough. In front of him we expect to be reunited with a young player who impressed on loan at St James`, van Aanholt alongside teenage Dutch international, Bruma. Fereira is expected to provide the experience.
p front, Kakuta could partner Sturridge, both being on the bench on Sunday, with a supporting midfield cast of any 4 from an array of players with top level experience.
For Newcastle, Hughton has several choices to make. In goal, following Steve Harper`s injury at Everton, the decision is whether to give Krul more match fitness, or to save him for the Premier League giving Soderberg his senior debut.
yan Taylor, scorer in the last round, is likely to resume at right back with Campbell set to resume his quest for sharpness. Kadar should play, whether in central defence, or if Williamson slots in, at left back with the other contenders Tavernier and Ferguson.
aving been rested on Saturday, Smith could add experience to the team which played against Accrignton, with Jonas, also only having a short spell at the weekend. Ben Arfa is keen to play which could see a winger rotation for Routledge. Tiote, Vuckic and Ranger who dropped back in the last round could also slot in.
The strike force should be made up of Ameobi and Lovenkrands, also lacking in first team experience this season. It will be remembered, however, that Shola has scored before for the Toon against Chelsea, at St James` Park in April 2004, with what might be his best goal for the club.
It is also the team against which he made his debut, in a 0-0 draw 10 years and 13 days ago with a moment which will have endeared him to every Newcastle supporter - his involvement in Dennis Wise`s sending off.
Last week`s reserve fixture could give a clue as to the result, Chelsea having run out 3-2 winners. Looking on the bright side, Newcastle have not lost against a team in blue since April 2009. No prizes for guessing who that was.
Referee for the occasion is Phil Dowd, whose 3rd match this will be between the two sides at Stamford Bridge. Those have been a home win and a draw, so let`s hope to complete the WDL set tonight.
up record against Chelsea:
16 W3 D3 L10 F13 A25
t Stamford Bridge
7 W1 D1 L5 F5 A13
4 W0 D0 L4 F1 A6