Jose Mourinho will rest several players but has told Newcastle not to expect an early Christmas present.
Mourinho said: “I’m going to rest some players, that’s obvious. People think we have a massive squad but it is not true. Our squad is very short and at this moment we have some problems.
“We have a game to play at Wigan next weekend and then Reading so for these three games I am going to make some changes.
“We are in the quarter-finals so we are not going there to give a present to Newcastle and an easy game. We go there with some fresh players so some of the boys can rest, but I hope we can get a result.”
Wayne Bridge, Paulo Ferreira and Shaun Wright-Phillips will all be hoping to start. John Terry and Carlo Cudicini are doubtful and unlikely to be risked in any case.
Glenn Roeder will give late fitness tests to Nolberto Solano and Emre, while Damien Duff is set to face Chelsea for the first time since his summer move to St. James’ Park. He is expected to play left-back as replacement for another Chelsea old boy Celestine Babayaro who is suspended.
The Magpies gave a good account of themselves in last week’s Premiership game at Stamford Bridge, eventually succumbing to a late Didier Drogba goal. Despite the defeat, they showed enough evidence to suggest that they can give Chelsea a run for their money at St. James’.