The Blues travel to St. James’ Park without their midfield Trojan, Nemanja Matic who is suspended for the clash after picking up a booking – his fifth for the season – in the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspurs on Wednesday.
Matic has started all 14 of Chelsea’s Premier League games this season helping the Blues record 11 wins and three draws in their unbeaten start to the season.
Since rejoining the London club in January, Matic has made 44 appearances for the Blues and his record is quite formidable in those games.
Without Matic in the side (nine games), Chelsea have won four, drawn three and lost two of the matches which represents a 44% win rate.
The win rate is much higher (69%) with Matic in the Chelsea side with the Blues winning 24, drawing seven and losing four of the games the Serbian has starred in.
Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager however insists the absence of Matic will not harm his side’s chances against Newcastle United.
“Diego Costa (who was suspended for the same reason against Tottenham) is already rested and now Nemanja Matic is suspended for one game so he will be rested,” Mourinho said.
With Mikel now set to deputize for the Serbian on Saturday, Mourinho has moved to underline his trust in the Super Eagles midfielder.
“Not having Mikel is not good for us, he is always an option,” the Special One said.
Mikel has made seven league appearances for Chelsea this season.
The 27-year-old has however not started a single Premier League game this term with all seven of his appearances coming from the bench. -LeadershipNg