Diego Costa will be back in the starting line-up but midfielder Nemanja Matic misses out with suspension for the Saturday lunchtime kick-off at Newcastle.

The Serbian midfielder picked up his fifth yellow card of the season on Wednesday and will for the first time this season sit out of a Premier League game.

Having played every minute of Premier League football so far this season, Matic has become a vital part of the so far unbeaten Chelsea team.

Chelsea team news

Blues manager Jose Mourinho confirmed on Friday’s press conference in Cobham that Costa is back in the starting line-up after serving his suspension on Wednesday.

Gary Cahill, who was replaced at half time against Tottenham, is ruled fit and ready to play again at Newcastle, leaving Kurt Zouma on the bench.

Mourinho’s biggest headache ahead of the match will be who is replacing Matic in the central midfield.

The obvious choices are John Obi Mikel and Ramires, with the latter the most likely choice.

On missing Matic, Mourinho said:

It’s another big player who is not playing but we trust other people. Matic has a free weekend, which he deserves very much, and he will come back stronger. Other people will play, we trust them so no problem.

Newcastle team news

Newcastle’s standout player so far this season, Moussa Sissoko, is back from suspension and will go straight into the starting line-up for Alan Pardew’s side.

Also Jack Colback returns from suspension, while Fabricio Coloccini is still missing with a hamstring injury.

Trio Sammy Ameobi, Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson are all doubtful for the visit of the league leaders.

After a terrible start to the season, which included protests among the supporters, Newcastle have found their feet and lie comfortably in 9th place on the table.

However their recent form is in doubt after losing away to high-flying West Ham and newly promoted Burnley in the last seven days.

Nothing but a win is good enough for an ambitious Jose Mourinho, but the question is how much impact the loss of Matic will have on the team.

There’s no doubt that a Chelsea team including Matic is a whole lot better than without him, so whoever replaces him must play to his best on Saturday.

We think it will be a tight match but a win should be more than possible. We’re going for a 2-1 win with Costa and Eden Hazard getting the goals. What is your prediction? Let us know in the comments below!

Chelsea Talk

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