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"I have to keep analysing the opponent, I have to try to know more about them, who is playing, who is not playing, who is injured, who plays with Coloccini in central defence? Mbemba, Williamson or another one? I have to try to know a bit more to make my decision. "Despite the furore surrounding Costa's suspension, Mourinho explained he wasn't too concerned about the Spanish international missing out.
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16 Chelsea 4-0 Maccabi Tel-AvivSept. 19 Chelsea 2-0 ArsenalSept. 23Walsall 1-4 ChelseaChelsea FCPredicted Line-upsAside from Thibaut Courtois, Mourinho confirmed he has a fully fit squad ahead of the visit to the North East, although Diego Costa will be missing as he serves the second game of his three-match ban.
"Loic wants to play every game, he doesn't want to play against Newcastle because it’s Newcastle, " said Mourinho. "There is no more motivation for him to score against Newcastle than Walsall. I don’t think players think about these things, the motivation for them is to try to play all the time. "We can guess as to Remy's motivation ahead of this game, but when it comes to Chelsea, one thing is certain: They will want to take all three points to end their hoodoo on the Tyne and attempt to make up some vital ground on Manchester City at the top. Now that things are looking more positive, Chelsea need to keep winning games to forget about their poor start to 2015/16.
It's a different story for Newcastle, who are still without a win in the Premier League this season. They also lost at home to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup in midweek. Such has been their form, the club's managing director Lee Charnley has apologised to fans in an email.
Newcastle United vs. Chelsea: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Live Stream, TV InfoMatthew Lewis/Getty ImagesWhat a difference a week makes in football. This time last week we were unsure of what Chelsea to expect ahead of a London derby with Arsenal, but now we're getting a better idea of where Jose Mourinho's team finds itself. The Premier League champions have rediscovered their mean streak and after three victories in a row—the latest a 4-1 win over Walsall in the Capital One Cup in midweek—there's a sense of some momentum being built at Stamford Bridge.
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"After six league games the truth is we have not achieved the points that any of us had hoped and expected we would do, " Charnley explained, per BBC Sport. Newcastle UnitedAug. 25Newcastle United 4-1 Northampton TownAug. 29Newcastle United 0-1 ArsenalSept. 14West Ham United 2-0 Newcastle UnitedSept. 19Newcastle United 1-2 WatfordSept. 23Newcastle United 0-1 Sheffield WednesdayNewcastle UnitedChelseaAug. 29 Chelsea 1-2 Crystal PalaceSept. 12 Everton 3-1 ChelseaSept.
"[Costa, Falcao and Remy] are good players, we have good strikers, " he said. If Remy starts, it will mean he will line-up at St. James' Park for the first time since his loan spell with the Magpies in 2013/14. With Costa out of contention and the added bonus of facing his old club, it's the ideal opportunity for the Frenchman to make a mark, although his manager has suggested facing Newcastle means little to him.
Newcastle have a long injury list with doubts remaining over several key players, including Cheik Tiote, Daryl Janmaat and Jack Colback, although the latter two are expected to be fit in time. Newcastle United (4-1-4-1): Krul; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Haidara; Colback; Thauvin, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Perez; MitrovicChelsea (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Pedro, Oscar, Hazard; FalcaoPlayers to watchAleksandar MitrovicDean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty ImagesIt's been a horrible start to the season for Newcastle, with the poor form of their strikers compounding the misery on Steve McClaren. Newcastle don't have an outlet right now, and without a significant goal threat, teams are able to take more risks against them, which has paid dividends thus far.
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Traveling to St. James' Park is another big challenge for the Blues, however. They lost 2-1 to Newcastle there in December last season—a result that ended their 17-match unbeaten run in the league that had stretched back to April 2014. Indeed, Mourinho has never won a game at St. James', either, while Chelsea are without three points there since December 2011 when they won 3-0. The goalscorers that day were all strikers as Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge all found their way onto the scoresheet. Matthew Lewis/Getty ImagesWith Diego Costa suspended, strikers have dominated the build-up to this game, with Mourinho forced to choose from either Radamel Falcao or Loic Remy to lead the line on Saturday. "I don't know [who will play], I could tell you I know but I don’t, " responded the Chelsea boss when asked on Friday which of his strikers will start against Newcastle.
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