Chelsea v Newcastle : Champions League qualification at stake as Torres looks to fire once more

Chelsea and Newcastle United go head to head on Wednesday evening in a game that is crucial for deciding who will finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, as Paddy Power offer free bets and have Alan Pardew’s men at long odds for victory at Stamford Bridge.

As things stand, Tottenham occupy 4th position and the final Champions League place, although Newcastle are level on points with Harry Redknapp’s men and Chelsea are only a point further adrift.

All three of these teams have a game in hand over 3rd placed Arsenal too, so there are four teams fighting it out for two positions and Wednesday night’s match at Stamford Bridge is going to have a massive influence on things.

Focusing on Chelsea to begin with, it is fair to say that they are loving life right now. Roberto Di Matteo’s men are in the final of the Champions League and FA Cup, while they hammered Queens Park Rangers 6-1 in their most recent Premier League game.

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Confidence at the club is higher than it has been all season and the struggles under Andre Villas-Boas earlier in the campaign seem like a distant memory. Nobody is going to relish taking on the Blues right now.

However, Newcastle have faced many challenges this season and come through them with flying colours. Therefore, Alan Pardew’s men will go to Stamford Bridge with the belief they can get something.

They will be determined to bounce back from the shock 4-0 defeat to Wigan last time out too. It was a result from out of the blue – Newcastle had won six games in succession prior to this – and they will want to return to form straight away.

With Manchester City and Everton to face after this, Newcastle certainly have a tough run-in and are outsiders for a top four place, but they have proved many people wrong this year and will not want to stop now.

When these two teams met at the Sports Direct Arena earlier this season, it ended in a 3-0 victory for Chelsea and there is no doubt that the Blues are favourites to complete the double on Wednesday evening.

With plenty to play for, it could go either way though and it should be a thoroughly entertaining contest. It gets underway at 7.45pm on Wednesday evening.

Tommy graduated from Sheffield University in 2009 with a Journalism degree and has worked in various professional industry posts including the football print media.