Paul Simpson says that Steve McClaren has put Vurnon Anita back alongside Jack Colback, so that United have a ‘solid centre of the pitch’ against Chelsea.

The first team coach also says that making his Premier League debut, 20 year old Kevin Mbabu deserves his chance and will ‘enjoy’ playing against Chelsea – let’s hope so.

Paul Simpson speaking after the teams were announced (see below):

“It is a great day for Kevin Mbabu, he deserves his opportunity. I thought he showed great energy on Wednesday night and looked unfazed.

“We wanted to have a bit of continuity, we felt it was important to try and keep as much of the goalkeeper and back four together as we possibly could.”

Rather than play Mbemba out of position:

“Rather than play Chancel Mbemba out of position again, we just thought Kevin Mbabu deserved his opportunity.

“I’m sure Kevin will enjoy it; he’s enthusiastic, he’s energetic and  that is all we want isn’t it? A team that is going to work their socks off.

Colback and Anita back together again:

“We think today is one of those games, we know what kind of side Chelsea are. They look to thread little balls through the middle of the park and they don’t tend to use the width a hell of a lot.

“So we want to make sure we have a solid centre of the pitch.”


Newcastle line up with:

Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Mbemba, Mbabu, Colback, Anita, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Perez, Mitrovic

On the bench:

Elliot, Williamson, Lascelles, Obertan, Thauvin, de Jong, Toney

Chelsea starting 11:

Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Pedro, Oscar, Hazard, Remy