Game two of the new Premier League season takes place this evening as we venture to London to face Chelsea less than 48 hours after playing in the searing Athens heat.
That is of course the problem with the Europa League, but it’s a problem that will have to be managed if we are try and replicate what we achieved last season.
I’m not talking in terms of the result at Stamford Bridge, although another 2-0 win would be very welcome indeed, but I mean generally. The Europa League can take it’s toll on a squad over the course of a season, but with nine changes made for the match and a whole host of key players left out of the squad altogether I’m hopeful that, at least for now anyway, the impact of trip will be minimal on our squad.
I guess we haven’t got long to find out just how fatigued our squad is but at this early juncture of the season I wouldn’t be overly pleased to hear it as an excuse for an awful performance should one transpire at Stamford Bridge this afternoon. Hopefully that won’t be the case anyway…
Enough waffle. Team news, as ever will be published below as and when it becomes available, and if you happen to stumble upon any streams of the match then please feel free to accidentally post a link to it in the comments section below.
Let’s do this.
Howay the lads!
Chelsea: Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Ashley Cole; John Obi Mikel, Raul Meireles; Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Ryan Bertrand; Fernando Torres
Subs: Ross Turnbull, Michael Essien, Oriol Romeu, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Oscar, Daniel Sturridge
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez; Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse
Subs: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Sylvain Marveaux, Romain Amalfitano, Gabriel Obertan, Ryan Taylor.