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Barclays Premier League

Stamford Bridge (ATT 41,559) 2nd May 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: M Halsey

Chelsea Chelsea vs Newcastle United Newcastle

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Newcastle 2

P Cisse (19, 90+4)

Chelsea v Newcastle preview

Top-four rivals go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge

Last Updated: 02/05/12 10:33am

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Chelsea and Newcastle are both chasing UEFA Champions League qualification and will be looking to end Wednesday night in fourth spot.

Form guide: Chelsea: WWDDW Newcastle: WWWWL Injuries: Chelsea: Luiz, Cahill Newcastle: Steven Taylor, Sammy Ameobi, Lovenkrands Referee: Mark Halsey Sky Bet odds: Chelsea 1/2 Draw 100/30 Newcastle 5/1 Opta stat: Yohan Cabaye has assisted each of Papiss Cisse's last four Premier League goals. Bet on Wednesday's match

Events at the Reebok Stadium, where Bolton play host to Tottenham, could conspire against the Blues and Magpies, leaving them both on the outside looking in, but remaining in the top-four hunt will be the overriding ambition at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have fired themselves into contention on the back of a productive run of results that has seen them book final dates in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League and rediscover their touch in the league.

They hit capital rivals Queens Park Rangers for six on Sunday, with a revitalised Fernando Torres hitting a hat-trick to suggest that he is close to recapturing his form of old.

The Blues are, in fact, unbeaten in their last six Premier League outings and have netted 13 times during that run.

Their record against Newcastle also bodes well heading into a midweek meeting with the Magpies, with the Blues having gone nine games without defeat against the North East outfit.

The one concern for Roberto Di Matteo heading into a crucial top-of-the-table encounter will be that Chelsea have kept only one clean sheet in their last five league games.

Newcastle will be hoping to take full advantage of any defensive frailties on Wednesday, as they go in search of their first league victory at Stamford Bridge since November 1986.

They have failed to take three points from any of their 17 previous Premier League visits to West London.

The capital has not been a happy hunting ground for the Magpies all season, with just two points taken from their last seven journeys south.

It has not just been in London that they have struggled of late, though, with five defeats suffered in their last eight games on the road.

The last of those came at Wigan on Saturday, with a 4-0 reversal bringing a run of six straight wins to an abrupt halt, and Alan Pardew will be demanding a positive response to that setback.

Team news

Chelsea will still be without injured defensive duo David Luiz and Gary Cahill in midweek.

But Branislav Ivanovic returns from suspension and is likely to partner John Terry at the heart of the Blues' back four

Di Matteo has refused to rule Cahill and Luiz out of Saturday's FA Cup final against Liverpool, but will not risk them against the Magpies.

Danny Simpson is Newcastle's only fresh injury concern.

The right-back picked up a minor ankle problem in the defeat at Wigan, but is expected to make the game at Stamford Bridge.

Wingers Gabriel Obertan (ankle) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin) will travel after returning to training, but midfielder Sammy Ameobi (knee) is still working his way back to full match fitness and central defender Steven Taylor (Achilles) remains on the sidelines.

Possible starting XIs

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Essien, Mata, Sturridge, Torres, Kalou.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Cisse, Ba.

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 23 53
2 Manchester City 23 48
3 Manchester United 23 43
4 Southampton 22 42
5 Tottenham Hotspur 23 40
6 Arsenal 22 39
7 Liverpool 23 38
8 West Ham United 23 36
9 Stoke City 23 32
10 Swansea City 22 30
11 Newcastle United 23 30
12 Everton 23 26
13 Crystal Palace 23 23
14 Sunderland 23 23
15 West Bromwich Albion 23 22
16 Aston Villa 22 22
17 Burnley 23 20
18 Hull City 23 19
19 Queens Park Rangers 23 19
20 Leicester City 23 17

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