The most worrying thing about the comments filling Twitter on the back of the midweek draw at Reading was the apathy among Chelsea supporters. It seemed as if the late disintegration in Berkshire seemed to take none of us by surprise, even though the Blues were cruising for the vast majority of game.
It’s an attitude that has been hanging around the club throughout Rafa Benitez took charge, but one that can not be allowed to reach the players – whose confidence seems to be desperately fragile at the moment. A trip to St James’ Park to face a Newcastle side that have struggled this season, but a morale boosting win at Villa Park on Tuesday will make then buoyant opposition.
The good news is that both Petr Cech and Juan Mata are fit to face the Magpies, the big keeper having missed the draw at Reading while the Spaniard has recovered from a knock on the ankle picked up in that game. David Luiz though is still out while Eden Hazard completes his three match ban.
The home side are something of an unknown entity having enhanced their French Revolution in the transfer window with three signings from Ligue 1 having made their debut at Villa, and Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran are both expected to follow that up with home debuts on Saturday.
The curious stat for this fixture is Newcastle’s top scorer will be in Blue; Demba Ba is still the top man at St James’ Park with 13 league goals, and with five goals in his last six at St James’ the Senegalese would be a wise tip at the bookies.
Elsewhere Frank Lampard will be looking to become the first player to reach double figures in goals in 10 consecutive Premier League seasons , in the process hopefully protecting and unbeaten run that stretches back five visits, and has only seen one goal conceded.
The infuriating inconsistency from Benitez’s side of late suggests that a good win is on the cards in the North East. It would certainly be a good way to rid us of the memories of some recent disappointing performances.