Chelsea receive boost ahead of Newcastle clash as N’Golo Kante returns from injury to start – but Mateo Kovacic is left out again

Chelsea have been boosted by the return of N’Golo Kante ahead of their Premier League clash with Newcastle – LIVE on talkSPORT.

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The Frenchman suffered the latest blow in an injury stricken season last week as a hamstring injury ruled him out of the 3-0 victory over Burnley.

But Kante is fit to start at St James’ Park and gets the nod over Mateo Kovacic.

The Croatian starts on the bench for the second consecutive Premier League match in a strange turn of events.

Many would have Kovacic down as one of the best, if not the best, Chelsea players this season, so his apparent fall out of favour is unusual.

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Frank Lampard finally appears settled on his back four, naming the same defence which kept a rare clean sheet against Burnley.

Andreas Christensen continues alongside Antonio Rudiger, while Reece James starts at right-back after signing a new five-year deal on Thursday.

Confirmed XIs

Newcastle: Dubravka, Kraft, Clark, Lascelles, Fernandez, Willems, Shelvey, Hayden, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Joelinton.

Chelsea: Kepa, James, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Willian.

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