After losing the Wear-Tyne derby last weekend, tougher times are ahead for Alan Pardew’s Newcastle as they welcome in-form Chelsea to St James’ Park in this weekend’s early kickoff.

Troubled Toon’s hopes of going far in the Capital One Cup were scuppered by their inability to take their chances in front of goal and despite a valiant effort, Newcastle were punished in extra-time by a clinical Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have put themselves in a position to go top of the Premier League with three points on Tyneside after a perfect October.

Jose Mourinho’s side defeated fellow title challengers Manchester City before booking their place in the last eight of the Capital One Cup at the expense of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Once again, Newcastle will be without their captain Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor leaving Pardew with very little to choose from. To make matters worse, Paul Dummett picked up a hamstring injury in midweek leaving Mike Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa with the responsibility of stopping a seemingly rejuvenated Fernando Torres.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Chelsea’s player of last season has become a fringe player since Mourinho’s return. He was handed a start in midweek and excelled against Arsenal, capping off his stellar performance with a wonderful goal.

Chelsea will want to forget their last season’s trip to St James’ Park. On that day they were second best as Moussa Sissoko inspired Newcastle to victory on his first home appearance.

However, Sissoko has not reached the same heights since, largely disappointing the Geordie fans who saw so much promise in him towards the end of last season. His place in Pardew’s XI is doubtful with Vurnon Anita putting in another assured performance in midweek.

Newcastle have only achieved one home win in the Premier League this season and the pressure is growing on Pardew. He’s going to have to come up with something very special if Newcastle are to upset the odds in stopping a Chelsea side in full flow on their quest to become champions again.