YOAN Gouffran is battling to be fit for Newcastle United’s visit to Stamford Bridge.
The forward – who scored against Chelsea earlier this season – has missed the club’s last two games through injury.
But Gouffran has a chance of facing Chelsea on Saturday, though captain Fabricio Coloccini is unlikely to be fit.
And striker Papiss Demba Cisse’s back problem is being assessed ahead of the game, which follows last weekend’s abject defeat to Sunderland. New signing Luuk de Jong is training intensively, having arrived from Borussia Monchengladbach lacking match fitness.
De Jong – who came off the bench in the derby – is a candidate to start at Stamford Bridge with leading scorer Loic Remy suspended.
United manager Alan Pardew will take a roll call tomorrow when he and his staff will start preparations in earnest for the Premier League fixture against Jose Mourinho’s title challenging team, beaten 2-0 at St James’s Park earlier this season thanks to goals from Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko.
“Gouff will hopefully come back and Luuk will get a week’s training,” Pardew told SportMail.
Coloccini has been absent since suffering a knee injury in Newcastle’s 1-0 New Year’s Day defeat to West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Asked about Coloccini and Cisse, Pardew added: “I’m not sure at this stage.”
Pardew talked about going “back to basics” after the Sunderland game, with his side having been outplayed by Gus Poyet’s resurgent team.
“We have 37 points, but the most important thing is that we have a structure to our play,” he said.
“For me, it will be back to basics this week, making sure everybody knows what their role is and how we are going to play, because we didn’t have a good game-plan once they had scored.”