Chelsea v Newcastle preview: Thibaut Courtois, Alvaro Morata out
Last Updated: 28/01/18 5:49pm
Chelsea will be without several first-team players when they host Newcastle in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday (kick-off 1.30pm).
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will miss the game through injury along with Alvaro Morata and Willian.
The Blues have had a bumpy start to 2018, with their only win in 90 minutes coming against Brighton in the Premier League.
They were beaten in the Carabao Cup semi-finals by Arsenal on Wednesday, and Antonio Conte said: "Every competition is important, we lost against Arsenal and now there is another competition.
"As you know this competition is very difficult. There is also an opponent and the opponent has the same ambition."
Newcastle's form has improved since the turn of the year, with just one defeat in their last four games in all competitions.
Courtois (ankle), Morata (back) and Willian are all out for Chelsea, but Cesc Fabregas could return from injury.
Kenedy will not be available for Newcastle as he is ineligible to play against Chelsea, having joined on loan from the Premier League champions this week.
Jesus Gamez is Newcastle's only other definite absentee, while Florian Lejeune could feature.
Chelsea have progressed past Newcastle in five of their last six FA Cup ties, with the Blues winning 1-0 in their most recent FA Cup encounter in 2006 thanks to John Terry's goal.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 10 FA Cup games against Premier League opponents at Stamford Bridge (W8 D2), with Arsenal the last side to beat them on their home turf in a sixth-round replay in March 2003.
Newcastle are looking to reach the FA Cup fifth round for the first time since 2006, with the Magpies falling at this stage last season, losing 3-0 to Oxford United at the Kassam. In fact, Newcastle have been eliminated in each of their last four FA Cup fourth round ties.
Chelsea have reached the FA Cup fifth round in 17 of their last 19 seasons, only failing to do so in 2010/11 and 2014/15.
I think Chelsea will enjoy a relatively comfortable afternoon, especially if Alvaro Morata and Cesc Fabregas are available again.
Newcastle want out of this competition with the issues they have in the Premier League, especially with a crucial home game against Burnley to come on Wednesday night.
Charlie predicts: 2-0 and Pedro to score first (22/1 with Sky Bet)