Newcastle Utd v Bolton, Mon 15:00
Newcastle will feel aggrieved at not finishing this weekend in fifth spot after Chelsea managed a late winner over relegation threatened Wigan Athletic, however a midweek fixture against Bolton promises to keep the side in good stead to clinch European qualification, as Paddy Power offer value odds on Cisse once again firing the Magpies to victory.
Chelsea remain level on points with Alan Pardew’s resilient Newcastle but are leaps and bounds ahead in terms of goal difference.
That being said, the Blues’ season has improved massively of late but Roberto Di Matteo’s men are still showing signs of the inconsistency that hit them in late 2011 which could eventually tell with a Champions League tournament to contend with.
The magpies did well to earn a comfortable victory at the Liberty Stadium on Friday, with Papiss Demba Cissé continuing to take the attacking glimmer away from teammate Demba Ba by scoring another brace for himself.
The 2-0 victory also mean that the North East outfit are now six points clear of Everton – who drew at Norwich – in sixth spot, making their chances of a top six finish all the more assured.
Bolton weren’t quite as fortunate in their weekend outing to say the least, succumbing at home to a 3-0 Fulham thrashing.
With Blackburn, Wolves and Wigan all losing however, the result doesn’t signal a drop in league position for the Trotters who sit in 16th spot.
Although statistics would suggest an easy victory for the hosts on Monday night, Bolton have earned more points away from than at the Reebok Stadium this season and will be hoping to add to that tally this week with a shock win over top six opposition.
With Chelsea facing a tough trip to Fulham, Newcastle could finally make their way back into fifth spot with a victory on Monday.
Midfield pair Cheick Tioté and Yohan Cabaye were both subbed off in Friday’s Swansea fixture with injury and could return against Wanderers while Joe Riley is striving to return from injury for the visitors.