The Blues hold a five-point advantage currently over Manchester United, who do not play until Sunday against Liverpool.
Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi have discovered some form as Frank Lampard’s youngsters continue to pay back his faith in what has been a breakthrough season for graduates from the Blues’ academy.
Steve Bruce’s side have also enjoyed a fine season so far, with Miguel Almiron finally finding his best form to help the Magpies flourish in the final third, complimenting their excellent discipline and shape, which has frustrated teams all year.
Here are the predicted line-ups for the game.
When is it?
The game is on Saturday 18 January at 5:30pm at St James’ Park, Newcastle.
How can I watch it and is there a live stream?
You can watch the game on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 5pm GMT. There is a live stream through Sky Go on all mobile devices, laptops and desktops. You can also watch through NowTV by subscribing for a Day or Week Pass.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles) and Christian Pulisic (tendon) remain unavailable, while Marcos Alonso and N’Golo Kante remain doubts.
DeAndre Yedlin (knee), Dwight Gayle (hamstring), Paul Dummett (hamstring), Javier Manquillo (hamstring), Yoshinori Muto (hip) and Ki Sung-yueng (knock) are all out here, but Fabian Schar (hamstring) is back and Allan Saint-Maxim could also return.
Newcastle: Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Willems; Atsu, Shelvey, Hayden, Almiron; Joelinton
Chelsea: Kepa; James, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Barkley, Jorginho, Mount; Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Willian
This is an intriguing game with both sides picking up valuable results and performances in the last week. Chelsea have the added motivation to move eight points clear of Manchester United, currently fifth, who play Liverpool away on Sunday. Newcastle snapped a poor run with a point at Molineux and Miguel Almiron is in form, which will help maximise their limited possession should they revert back to a reactive style after filling their boots midweek by thrashing Rochdale 4-1 in their FA Cup third round replay. The Blues may be away but they will likely face a similar scenario to those they have struggled with at home, but the big win over Burnley and the form of Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi down the right gives them more cutting edge, which could prove the difference here. We’ll go for a 2-1 away win.