Newcastle United v Chelsea
Barclays Premier League;
Sports Direct Arena;
Saturday 3rd December; KO: 1245
Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote will miss his fifth leahue match in a row, due to being unable to shake off a knee injury.
French winger Sylvain Marveaux (groin) has been ruled out until the New Year, but Leon Best will be available after recovering from a groin injury.
Chelsea captain John Terry returns after a one-game suspension, which he served in the League Cup defeat by Liverpool and should return.
Oriol Romeu is expected to continue to fill in at centre midfield, with John Obi Mikel out-of-favour and Michael Essien still injured.
AVB to keep Sturridge wide
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has said he will persist with deploying Daniel Sturridge in a wide role.
Sturridge had iterated his desire to play a more central role on numerous occasions, but Villas-Boas is happy with him where he is.
Sturridge is Chelsea’s joint top scorer this season, bagging seven goals, but his manager at Stamford Bridge feels a central role is out of the question.
"There is no purpose in using Daniel up front,” said the former Porto boss.
“Our conversation at the beginning of the season was that we saw his potential on the wings - not only myself but also (England boss Fabio) Capello and (former Chelsea manager Carlo) Ancelotti.
"We know he likes the striker position. It doesn't mean that he cannot perform it to the best and, if needs be, we will use him.
"But he will be here with us always counting most likely as a right winger.”
Chelsea will be hoping to halt a run of three straight losses to other Premier League top seven.
It is unlikely to get easier as the Blues face Newcastle in the early kick-off on Saturday, then have to take on leaders Manchester City.
“Our form at the moment with the top teams has not been good enough," Villas-Boas said.
"We've still yet to play three of them. So that still might give us a chance.”