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Steve Holland: Newcastle is always a hard game under any circumstances


Assistant first team coach Steve Holland says Chelsea should expect a tough game against Newcastle United on Saturday.

Ivory Coast's Cheick Tiote and Senegal's Papiss Cisse are on African Nations Cup duty and will both miss the game for the visitors.

But Holland - who replaced Jose Mourinho during Friday's press conference - believes the Magpies have other quality players in the squad.

"They have a good squad and whoever plays in that position will be a quality player," Holland said.

"It's one of those situations where we've been on the flipside in the past, with players like Drogba and Mikel. It's a tournament that happens frequently at this time so you know what you're going to get, and I'm quite sure Newcastle would have been aware of that well before now.

"They will have factored that into their planning. From our point of view it's always good to have a situation where the opposition is playing without some of their best players.

"It could well be the case with Swansea the week after with Bony and then Man City with Yaya Toure.

"That's the way it falls sometimes but from my experience of playing against Newcastle is it's always a hard game under any circumstances wherever you play them. We're expecting no different tomorrow."

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