Chelsea Vs Newcastle United, Sun 15 May 2011

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Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote will not be risked against Chelsea on Sunday to prevent him starting the new season with a suspension.

The Ivory Coast international is unlikely to figure in the final game against West Brom either after picking up his 14th booking last weekend, although manager Alan Pardew has admitted his is unlikely to use Alan Smith as a direct replacement following his return from a lengthy absence with an ankle ligament injury.

Kevin Nolan (ankle) and Steve Harper (knee) are both out after surgery this week and join Mike Williamson (broken arm), Hatem Ben Arfa (double leg fracture), Stephen Ireland and Leon Best (both ankle), Danny Guthrie (shin) and Dan Gosling (knee) on the sidelines.

Youngsters Sammy Ameobi - the younger brother of Shola - Kazenga LuaLua and Greg McDermott are included in the squad.

Fernando Torres will start Chelsea's final Premier League home game of the season, manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed.

Torres was dropped for Sunday's defeat at Manchester United, which all but ended the champions' faint title hopes.

Jose Bosingwa will miss the final two matches of the campaign with a knee injury, while young full-back Ryan Bertrand (hamstring) will also sit out the Newcastle game.

Steven Taylor will head for Chelsea delighted to have helped Newcastle confound their doubters.


The Magpies emerged from the Championship last summer knowing the only aim for their first campaign back in the Barclays Premier League would be to remain there.

Their investment in the playing staff during the close-season was modest by top-flight standards, and the doom-mongers predicted a long, tough campaign.

However, last Saturday's 2-1 home victory over Birmingham, in which Taylor scored on his return to the starting line-up, ensured they will remain alongside the big boys and can now start planning the next stage of their climb back to the loftier status they once enjoyed.

Taylor, who has experienced all the highs and lows of life at St James' Park during his career to date, said: "You are playing with players who you know are giving 100% every week and they want to be here playing.

"It means more. Everybody knows how much togetherness we have in this squad.

"Getting relegated has definitely helped Newcastle, it's pulled us through.

"At the start of the season, everyone had us down for the bottom three all year.

"We have proved a lot of people wrong and now we can just relax a bit and enjoy it and see how things go now."

The pressure may be off the Magpies as they make their way to Stamford Bridge perhaps relieved they do not need to return with something to show for their efforts.

However, that will not change their approach, other than manager Alan Pardew's decision to rest key midfielder Cheick Tiote to prevent him picking up a 15th booking of the season and a three-match ban.

Taylor said: "The main thing, we said at the start of pre-season in Ireland, was survival and once we got that, it was a good season.

"Now where we are, why not go for it and try to get the six points and hit the top 10?"

Ancelotti has rejected John Terry's claim that Chelsea's squad was not big enough this season, insisting there was enough quality there to have retained the Barclays Premier League title.

Blues captain Terry this week suggested there was a need for billionaire owner Roman Abramovich to splash the cash again this summer, declaring that too many players were let go at the end of last term.

The decision to offload the likes of Ricardo Carvalho, Michael Ballack, Deco, Juliano Belletti and Joe Cole appeared to backfire when injuries struck and Chelsea embarked on their worst run in the league for almost 15 years.

But Ancelotti was adamant yesterday that the players he had at his disposal were still good enough to have beaten Manchester United to the championship.

"The squad was good enough," said Ancelotti, whose side's 12-month reign was ended by United this afternoon.

"We started the season very well, and we finished it very well.

"The mistake was not being able to manage that bad moment.

"It was too long, two months, a lot of defeats and draws. Above all, home games.

"We lost a lot of points in the last minute: Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton.

"That was the reason. The strength and power and skills of the squad were good.

"We lost some players compared to last season, but we still had fantastic players arriving this year."

The only major summer arrivals at Stamford Bridge were Ramires and Yossi Benayoun, although Ancelotti admitted yesterday the club had failed in bids to sign Fernando Torres and David Luiz, who eventually joined in January.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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