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PL, Chelsea vs Newcastle, 22/11/08, 1500 GMT


loz

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The barcodes are just outside the relegation zone courtesy of the fact that, despite the 'arry factor' Spurs are still crap.

The pace and power of Martins is the only real threat and our defenders should be able to deal with that easily enough (Terry's fitness may be key though as without him we will have a centre half pairing.that has never played together).

As for us I expect Ashley Cole to start, maybe Ballack on the bench again and Drogba should also still be on the bench as Anelka has ro be rewarded by keeping his first team spot (never thought I would be saying that).

God I hope Joe Cole is back soon, more to replace Kalou than Malouda. Malouda is still hideously disappointing but I actually think Kalou is a lot worse and at least Malouda does have an eye for a great pass from time to time.

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First game in a long time where we can play Lamps, Ballack, Deco and Mikel in the midfield. Drogs will have to earn his place from the bench which will leave two out of Anelka, Kalou and Malouda up front.

Its a worry the amount of time Cech is injured as no way is Carlo a fully adequate replacement.

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It's good news to know JC will be back again.

Given his performance the last season it's so sad to see that he's often just playing one or two games and then being left out again due to injury. He was one of our best players the last season.

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Anyone know exactly who's out, who's doubtful and who can play? I've heard so many rumours that it seems hardly any players are fit.

Last I heard is that Deco, Ferreira and Bosingwa won't play because they've traveled a long way after the game against Brazil. Lampard are doubtful, as are Joe & Ashley Cole.

So really, we might be without:

Essien

Lampard

Deco

Cole

Cole

Bosingwa

Alex

Belletti

Carvalho

Di Santo

Drogba

Cech

Ferreira

I hope the rumours are wrong though. Please tell me they are :beg:

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SCOLARI'S COLES FOR NEWCASTLE

Posted on: Fri 21 Nov 2008

Felipe Scolari's new experiences in English football continue on Saturday afternoon with his first meeting with Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear.

The appointment of the 61-year-old former Wimbledon boss as Kevin Keegan's successor at St James' Park was one of the surprise stories of the season. However Scolari, despite their football paths taking very different directions up until now, won't be caught unawares by his opposite number's team.

'I asked Ray Wilkins about Joe Kinnear and his style,' Scolari revealed as he looked forward to a match between the first and the 17th placed teams.

'I know the players like him and when the players like a coach, it is because he has brought something different. Tomorrow is my chance to meet him, to know more about him after the game.'

For once, Scolari goes into a game with a better injury outlook than the other manager. Reports suggest Newcastle will be without Steven Taylor, Joey Barton, Mark Viduka, Xisco, Ignacio Gonzalez and Alan Smith.

Scolari has announced that Petr Cech and Joe Cole are back in the Chelsea squad, Cech having recovered from a calf strain and Cole from a hamstring problem.

Ashley Cole, who was on the bench at West Brom but not fully fit, will also be available, although Scolari warns the two Coles are not yet 100 per cent.

'When you don't play for 15 or 20 days, you are ready but some movements on the pitch are difficult.'

The manager is hopeful Frank Lampard will be okay to play having returned to training yesterday [Thursday] following a rib injury. Alex, who suffered a groin strain against Burnley, is rated possible but Juliano Belletti is definitely out.

On those returning from midweek internationals, Scolari reports:

'The players I received yesterday are in good condition. I didn't receive Deco, Paulo Ferreira or José Bosingwa because they arrived [from Brazil] at 6pm. After 15 hours flying, it is impossible to train.

'But if they can play a full game for the national team, why not play tomorrow?'

However Scolari does lose Didier Drogba who begins a three-match suspension.

'Between the three games we have Champions League which Didier can play but it is a chance for Didier to train hard and make something more for his knee and for his ankle with the fitness coach.

'We lost Didier from games but we have won him for some different work and when Didier comes back, I think he can be back better than before.'

Scolari also discussed Michael Ballack, scorer against Newcastle in our most recent meeting.

Reports in the media suggest talks will soon be underway over the German's contract which has a year's option available at the end of this season.

'He is a player who is very professional and he was one of the players I like to work with,' stated Scolari.

'He has a charming style, direct, and I like this and in future we will see what will happen with Chelsea but for age, it is not a problem because he is young and he plays very well. If he wants [to stay], I want him and if Chelsea have a deal, it is fantastic for me.'

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Chelsea have a doubt over midfielder Frank Lampard, who withdrew from England's squad for the friendly with Germany on Wednesday because of a rib injury for the match.

Striker Didier Drogba starts a three-match ban but Chelsea hope to have Joe Cole (hamstring) and goalkeeper Petr Cech (calf) back.

Ashley Cole (foot), Alex (thigh), and Juliano Belletti (ankle) are also doubtful while Michael Essien and Franco Di Santo are definitely out. Centre-half Ricardo Carvalho is also likely to miss out with a knee problem.

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Joe and Ashley Cole both return to the starting line-up but Alex remains out.

Branislav Ivanovic will partner John Terry is central defence. Frank Lampard is fit and Deco and José Bosingwa start despite their round trip to Brazil. Michael Ballack is on the bench.

Newcastle make two changes. Danny Guthrie replaces injured Joey Barton in midfield. Michael Owen comes in up front for Shola Ameobi and captains.

Chelsea will line-up in a 4-1-4-1 formation as follows:

1 Petr Cech

17 José Bosingwa

2 Branislav Ivanovic

26 John Terry ©

3 Ashley Cole

12 John Mikel Obi

10 Joe Cole

20 Deco

8 Frank Lampard

15 Florent Malouda

39 Nicolas Anelka

Substitutes: 23 Carlo Cudicini, 19 Paulo Ferreira, 18 Wayne Bridge, 27 Mineiro, 13 Michael Ballack, 16 Scott Sinclair, 21 Salomon Kalou.

Newcastle are expected to line-up in the following 4-4-2 formation:

Given; Beye, Coloccini, Bassong, José Enrique; Gutiérrez, Guthrie, Butt, Duff; Martins, Owen.

Subs: Harper, Cacapa, N'Zogbia, Edgar, Carroll, LuaLua, Ameobi.

The referee is Phil Dowd.

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