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Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has the hardest of jobs at the moment as a bulk of his squad is out through injury.
Newcastle’s injury crisis hit double figures in recent weeks, with Dwight Gayle and Paul Dummett forced off in their draw against Wolves last weekend, missing the midweek FA Cup replay win over Rochdale.
Yoshinori Muto, DeAndre Yedlin, Ki-Sung-Yeung, Allan Saint-Maximin and Javi Manquillo are also doubts. Jack Colback is definitely out with a knee ligament injury, as are Fabian Schar and Jetro Willes.
Before their 4-1 FA Cup win over Rochdale, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce admitted that it was impossible for him to rotate his squad due to lack of options.
“Listen, they’re all in the red zone now,” said Bruce. “If I measured the two Longstaffs (Sean and Matty), and (Miguel) Almiron, they’ve ran a million miles. I can guarantee you. To ask them to go again on Tuesday is the same thing, you run the risk.
“That’s why we do a rotation, but I’ve got no choice. I can’t rotate. We did it slightly against Man United. I left out Isaac (Hayden), and I left out (Jonjo) Shelvey to be in the midfield areas. Shelvey got injured against Everton at home on Boxing Day.
“The numbers we’ve got is the concern, so we’ll see what we’ve got.”
While, pundits are tipping Chelsea to get a win in this game, the Blues must be cautious and not get carried away.
Trips to St James’ Park have never been easy for Chelsea. The Magpies have beaten Manchester United and held reigning champions Manchester City at home this season, whilst also beating Tottenham Hotspur away from home. In the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, it had to take a late Marcos Alonso goal to win the fixture.