Chelsea host Newcastle United on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in an English Premier League match that has Champions League implications.
Both clubs are within striking distance of third and fourth place in the EPL table, with Newcastle currently in fifth place, and Chelsea in the No. 6 spot. Of course, Chelsea can secure a spot in next season's Champions League with a victory over Bayern Munich in the Final on May 19 at Allianz Arena.
Chelsea are playing with a great deal of momentum on their side. The Blues are coming off their most convincing victory of the season against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, as Fernando Torres scored a hat trick in a 6-1 win.
Ivanovic challenges Obertan (R) during their English Premier League soccer match in Newcastle, northern England on Dec. 3, 2011. Obertan could be vital to a Newcastle win on Wednesday. (Reuters/Nigel Roddis)
Roberto Di Matteo's squad have not lost a match since March 21 when they fell to Manchester City, 2-1, at Etihad Stadium. Chelsea are also still buzzing after pulling off perhaps the most prominent upset of the season when they defeated Barcelona in the semi-finals of Champions League.
The Blues will be without centre backs David Luiz and Gary Cahill, who both have hamstring injuries.
Newcastle have exceeded expectations this season, but Alan Pardew's side have a difficult task ahead of them with Manchester City and Everton still on the schedule.
After six-straight wins, Newcastle was stunned by Wigan on Saturday, in a 4-0 loss. The abrupt halt to the Magpies' hot streak was surprising given how dominant they had been in the six-game span, which saw them outscore their opponents 13-1.
Winger Gabriel Obertan has missed the last three games due to an ankle injury, but is expected to return against Chelsea. Midfielder Sammy Ameobi and central defender Steven Taylor remain sidelined for the Magpies.
The last time the two clubs played was on Dec. 3, and Chelsea easily defeated Newcastle at St. James Park, 3-0.
Chelsea - Newcastle kicks off at 19:45 (London), and can be seen online at FOX Soccer 2Go . The match will be televised live on FOX Soccer Chanel in the U.S.
PREDICTION: Both clubs will put up their best effort with so much on the line. Expect the Magpies to regroup from their painful loss to Wigan by pressuring the Blues defenders with a balanced attack. Daniel Sturridge might be due for a big match for the home side. This should be a hard-fought game from the start.
PREDICTED SCORE: Chelsea 1 - 1 Newcastle
D: Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole
M: Lampard, Essien, Mata
F: Sturridge, Torres, Kalou
D: Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon
M: Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez
F: Cisse, Ba