Kalou predicts close Newcastle encounter

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Chelsea will host Newcastle United in the Premier League tonight in an important game that could decide who finishes in fourth place in the table.

Salomon Kalou is expecting a difficult encoutner at Stamford Bridge, but is confident the Blues can capitalise on their home advantage and take all three points.

"It's up to us to go out and beat them to gain an advantage," he confirmed.

The Ivorian didn't enjoy much Premier League football under previous manager Andre Villas-Boas, but has been more heavily involved in the first-team with Roberto Di Matteo. Besides the first two league games of the season, against Stoke and West Brom, Kalou was limited to substitute appearances.

"I'm playing regularly [now] and I'm glad," he told Chelsea's official website. Since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations, Kalou has enjoyed an extended run of games, with his attacking threat in wide areas seeming to fit in with Di Matteo's new system.

Newcastle have been the surprise package this season under the guidance of Alan Pardew, who, with the help of key players Yohan Cabaye, Papa Cisse and Demba Ba, have proven an increasingly difficult side to break down.

Kalou is impressed by Newcastle's course this year and he never expected a game against them would hold so much importance.

"Newcastle are up there challenging because they deserve to be, they are a very good team with some great players."

The winning team of tonight's game will leapfrog Tottenham into fourth place, which grants the much desirable Champions League spot.

"When you have a chance to end the season like we do, it's easy to stay motivated. There are only a few games left to play and we know that these games are so important for the history of the club."

It was a really shaky start of the season for the Blues, but they managed to bring themselves back in position to claim silverware. The Premier League might look as a bird that has already flown away, but Kalou has more than that to look forward.

"Every player would love to be in this position. We can win the FA Cup, finish in the top four and potentially win the Champions League, which is something every player dreams about, so we are blessed."

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Salomon Kalou
Premier League

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