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Our threadbare squad is now being seriously tested, with the absence of Shelvey (injury), Diame (injury) and Ki (international duty) meaning we have just ONE senior midfielder fit for tomorrow’s game – and that’s an out of sorts Isaac Hayden who wants out!

I’m sure I speak for most in saying I’m currently devoid of any real hope or excitement as a Newcastle fan right now – and I’m not expecting that feeling to change ahead of what could be a very long afternoon at Chelsea.

Not only that, we don’t have a natural left-back fit either, with Paul Dummett also ruled out.

As Rafa said in his presser, it’s time to forget about ‘takeovers’ and the transfer window (with us appearing to be no closer to any new signing or new owners 10 days into January), however matters on the pitch are just as worrying right now.

Here’s the team I’d like to see, followed by the side I expect Rafa to go with: With Shelvey out, Ki away at the Asian Cup and Diame a ‘major doubt’, we have just ONE senior central midfielder available – and that’s Isaac Hayden; a player who doesn’t even want to be here.

Chelsea have failed to score in their last two league games at home – losing 0-1 to Leicester and drawing 0-0 with Southampton more recently – but they’ve also conceded just ONE goal in their last 8 home games; a stat that hardly fills me with confidence given how toothless we’ve been in attack of late.

Chelsea may have scored just ONE goal in their last three home league games (and also blanked vs Spurs in midweek), but they’ve conceded just ONCE in their last 8 games at Stamford Bridge.
For more news relating to Chelsea, visit our sister site Chelsea Live.
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