Newcastle v Chelsea preview: Mourinho seeks to end Newcastle hoodoo
Last Updated: 26/09/15 5:32pm
Chelsea travel to Newcastle for the Saturday Night Football clash live on Sky Sports, hoping to end a run of three consecutive Premier League defeats at St James' Park.
Last season, Newcastle ended Chelsea's 23-game unbeaten streak thanks to a Papiss Cisse second-half double, extending Jose Mourinho's winless record on Tyneside to five games.
But Steve McClaren's side are struggling this campaign with just two points from their opening six league fixtures.
A midweek 1-0 home defeat in the Capital One Cup to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday compounded the misery for McClaren, and the Magpies boss will be looking for a response on Saturday Night Football.
After back-to-back league defeats to Crystal Palace and Everton, Mourinho's side have rallied to record three consecutive wins in all competitions - scoring 10 and conceding just one in the process.
Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will return from his three-match ban on Saturday.
The Serbia international, who was sent off against Arsenal on August 29, is available, but fellow forward Papiss Cisse [back] will be missing once again.
Daryl Janmaat has recovered from illness, but fellow full-back Massadio Haidara faces a late fitness test on his knee injury, while midfielders Jack Colback and Rolando Aarons are struggling with calf problems and defender Paul Dummett [hamstring] and midfielder Cheick Tiote [knee] are still out.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa is unavailable, serving the second game of his three-match ban.
Radamel Falcao or former Newcastle striker Loic Remy could start in Costa's absence, while forward Willian [hamstring], playmaker Oscar [knee] and winger Pedro [thigh] are available again, manager Jose Mourinho confirmed.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is out until December following knee surgery.
Newcastle United have won their last three Premier League home games against Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho has never won a Premier League game at St James' Park (D2 L3) - the only other Premier League stadium he's not won at is the Emirates (D3).
Papiss Cissé has scored four Premier League goals against Chelsea - only against Stoke and Swansea (4) has he scored as many.
Eden Hazard has scored more goals against Newcastle in the Premier League (4) than against any other opponent.
Newcastle United have won just one of their last 17 Premier League games (D3 L13).
Steve McClaren has won just two of his last 19 league games as a manager (W2 D8 L9 - six games at Newcastle, 13 at Derby County).
There's no chance for Newcastle in this one. Chelsea are a banker. Newcastle can't stop losing. I like Steve McClaren, but they are just struggling so badly. The fans are rightly frustrated and Saturday evening could turn nervy within 10 minutes at St James' Park. Jose Mourinho's side love that and he'll pick them off easily.
The lead at the top is eight points, but Chelsea can win the title. After last week especially. It was a huge day for Chelsea last week, to beat Arsenal and then see City lose at home to West Ham. You have to remember Chelsea will look to beat Man City at home in April, so I call it five points.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (Sky Bet odds 11/1)
Sky Bet make Newcastle the biggest priced home team this weekend at 4/1 ahead of the visit of champions Chelsea (8/13) to St James' Park with the draw a 14/5 shot. The Magpies, 5/4 to be relegated, are still without a league win this season and were dumped out of the Capital One Cup at home by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, heaping pressure on boss Steve McClaren, who is 5/1 third favourite to be the first Premier League manager to lose his job.
The Toon have conceded in the first ten minutes in three of their last five games and Chelsea are 9/2 to extend that run in front of the Sky cameras. Newcastle did win this fixture 2-1 last season, a 14/1 shot on Saturday, although Soccer Saturday pundits Phil Thompson, Matt Le Tissier and Charlie Nicholas are all backing the Blues to win to nil.
Watch Newcastle v Chelsea live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 5pm on Saturday Night Football.