CHELSEA take on Newcastle in the Carabao Cup tonight in a huge quarter-final clash.
The Blues will look to build on Saturday's 2-0 victory over Sheffield United following a spell of patchy form.
Cole Palmer shone again for Chelsea as he continues to become the talisman of Mauricio Pochettino's team – notching a goal and an assist in the game.
Nicolas Jackson also notched his seventh goal of the season following a barren spell at the start of the season.
Newcastle meanwhile swept Fulham aside 3-0 at St. James' Park following Raul Jimenez's early dismissal.
Lewis Miley, 17, got his first goal for Newcastle as he made the most of the opportunity made to him following the club's littany of injuries and suspensions.
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But injuries again continued to mount as Fabian Schar and Joelinton were both forced off through injury.
The Carabao Cup represents an excellent chance for both teams to land some silverware this year.
Newcastle were devastated not to win the competition last year, after they lost to Erik ten Hag's Manchester United in their first final since the 1999 FA Cup – which they also lost to United.
Meanwhile Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping the competition will allow him to win his first piece of silverware in England – having failed to do so with Tottenham Hotspur.
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The manager has come under pressure in recent weeks due to Chelsea's consistently inconsistent nature.
But with owner Todd Boehly having spent over £1billion since taking over the Blues there will be pressure to create success this season.
What is their form like?
Chelsea won last time out against Sheffield United but that is not much to write home about these days.
That followed on from a disappointing 2-1 loss to a struggling Manchester United side, victory against Brighton, and a thrashing against Newcastle – so it's patchy at best.
Newcastle meanwhile beat in-form Fulham 3-0 after losing 4-1 to Spurs before that.
Eddie Howe is having to navigate an injury crisis but managing to find solutions now with the likes of Lewis Miley getting his first goal for the club.
Both Fabian Schar and Joelinton were forced off against Fulham with muscular injuries.
Both injuries are not as bad as first feared but this game will come too soon for them.
Nick Pope, Jacob Murphy, Harvey Barnes, Joe Willock, Elliot Anderson, Javier Manquillo and Matt Targett all remain out.
Trippier and Isak are slight doubts.
Chelsea are hoping to have Christopher Nkunku back soon and he was fit enough to make the bench on the weekend.
Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Robert Sanchez, Ben Chilwell, Romeo Lavia, Trevoh Chalobah, Lesley Ugochukwu and Carney Chukwuemeka all remain sidelined.
Who will be the star men?
Cole Palmer shone again for Chelsea on the weekend – registering a goal and an assist.
He's undoubtedly been Chelsea's main man since signing this summer and is one of the rare instances where Todd Boehly's wild transfer speculation has paid off.
For Newcastle, their main threat will be through Anthony Gordon, who has been a revelation this year.
He registered another assist at the weekend as he continues his fine form but will need a rest at some point.
What have the managers said?
Eddie Howe has said that last year's Carabao cup run has given his side confidence that they can go one better this year.
He said: "It's given us a bond with the competition. We've seen the rewards you can get from it. The build up to the final was a brilliant thing to be part of.
"The final itself was a disappointment but it was incredible to see how many fans we took to London. It's helped us this year."
Mauricio Pochettino meanwhile has pleaded for patience from the fans on the return of Christopher Nkunku.
He said: "My worry is putting too much pressure on him and saying now he has arrived, this guy is going to make us win every single game and change everything. I don't believe it will be like this because he now needs time to recover his feeling.
"I hope that starts tomorrow. Maybe [he can] play and score three goals and then be consistent. The most important thing is not to create too much pressure on him. He needs to find himself, find the competition and then adapt to a team that was competing without him for the last four or five months.
"We need to be careful. He has not made his debut in the Premier League, and you know how tough the Premier League is for players who arrive from outside of England."
With Newcastle struggling with injuries and away from home this is a tough one to call.
Chelsea are equally inconsistent so this could go either way.
1-1 is a plausible outcome with one of the sides winning the tie on penalties.
When is Chelsea vs Newcastle?
- Chelsea's clash with Newcastle will take place on Tuesday, December 19.
- Chelsea vs Newcastle will kick off at 8pm GMT.
- The game will be held at Stamford Bridge in London.
What channel is it on and can it be live streamed?
- Chelsea's clash with Newcastle will be shown live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sport's Main Event.
- You can live stream the action from the Sky Go and NOW TV apps, both of which are available for download onto your mobile or tablet device.
- Chelsea – 5/6
- Draw – 13/5
- Newcastle – 16/5
*Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication.
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