Chelsea look to go top of the Premier League by beating Newcastle
Jose Mourinho insists that Chelsea are not in the title hunt but they could end up top of the league
Jose Mourinho may have to revise his claim that Chelsea are outsiders in the fight for the English Premier League title after they face Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Mourinho maintained his side are the "little horse" in the title race in the wake of the Blues' impressive 1-0 victory over Manchester City on Monday. However, if results go their way this weekend, they could find themselves at the head of the table.
The responsibility for leading the attack against Newcastle will again fall to Samuel Eto'o, despite Fernando Torres making an unexpected return to training this week.
Mohamed Salah, the £11 million (HK$139 million) signing from Swiss club Basel, will hope to make his debut after remaining an unused substitute at Eastlands. And the Egypt international admitted his move had been accompanied with a weight of expectation from back home.
"For everybody in Egypt this is a dream," Salah said. "To see one player playing in Chelsea, Manchester or Madrid, it's not easy for Egypt people to do that.
"Playing in Switzerland and for Basel is not like Chelsea. I hope I can play better here, do more than I did at Basel and I do a good career for me."
Meanwhile, Mourinho said he wants Ashely Cole to stay at Chelsea in the summer, but believes the left-back may be persuaded to move to the United States. The England international is out of contract at Chelsea at the end of the season and has been linked with a move to the New York Red Bulls to link up with his former Arsenal teammate Thierry Henry.
Mourinho said the 33-year-old Cole has a future at Chelsea "but maybe Thierry has a better proposal."
For opponents Newcastle, with no danger of being sucked into a relegation battle and having already exited both domestic cup competitions, their season has shown signs of fizzling out after defeats in five of their past seven games.
However, they will look to continue their fine recent record in London, having won on their four previous visits to the capital.
"Our season certainly isn't over," manager Alan Pardew said. "I'd rather be in our position than fighting for survival.
"We're three points behind Manchester United and they still have aspirations of Europe, so why shouldn't we? We're eighth but I want to finish higher."