Chelsea vs Newcastle
When the team sheets came out on Sunday before Chelsea’s FA Cup fourth round tie with Newcastle there were surprises in both squads.
Most supporters would have expected Antonio Conte and Rafa Benitez to rotate their sides.
Yet two players who were thought to in line for recalls – David Luiz and Aleksandar Mitrovic – were nowhere to be seen.
The Chelsea and Newcastle teams were as follows:
Chelsea XI: Caballero; Rudiger, Christensen, Cahill; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Batshuayi, Hazard.
Subs: Eduardo, Ampadu, Moses, Fabregas, Barkley, Musonda, Hudson-Odoi.
Our team today: Caballero; Rudiger, Christensen, Cahill (c); Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Batshuayi, Hazard.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 28, 2018
Starting XI: Darlow, Manquillo, Mbemba, Lascelles (c), Clark, Haïdara, Shelvey, Saivet, Hayden, Ritchie, Gayle.
Subs: Woodman, Yedlin, Dummett, Diamé, Atsu, Murphy, Joselu. pic.twitter.com/SBBxT7PbB8
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 28, 2018
Newcastle XI: Darlow; Manquillo, Mbemba, Lascelles; Clark, Haïdara; Shelvey, Saivet; Hayden, Ritchie; Gayle.
Subs: Woodman, Yedlin, Dummett, Diamé, Atsu, Murphy, Joselu.
David Luiz & Aleksandar Mitrovic
With just a few days remaining in the January transfer window, are David Luiz and Aleksandar Mitrovic heading out of their respective clubs?
For David Luiz, this season has seen the Brazilian axed from Antonio Conte’s setup.
Amid rumours of a falling out with his coach, it’s difficult to see how Luiz has much of a future at Stamford Bridge.
Yet, at the same time there has been little discussion of the South American leaving Chelsea before February 1.
For the record, Luis was reportedly out of the game with an ankle injury.
Conte playing strongest squad possible?
— Kristof Terreur 📰 (@HLNinEngeland) January 28, 2018
David Luiz 'likes' 👀 pic.twitter.com/AaylHgwUty
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) January 28, 2018
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s situation at Newcastle seems different. The Serbian striker has also suffered from injuries this season, while he’s also dropped down the pecking order at St James’ Park.
The difference between Luiz and Mitrovic, however, is that rumours of the striker’s exit have been circling for some time.
As could be expected, the issue for Mitrovic is money. Newcastle have reportedly already turned down a 12 million euro offer for the attacker in the window.
Mitrovic’s sole league goal came against West Ham at the start of the season.
Mbemba returns to the side.
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) January 28, 2018