Chelsea v Newcastle United: Carver undaunted by Stamford Bridge test

Newcastle United caretaker boss John Carver insists he is not fazed by the challenge of visiting Jose Mourinho's Chelsea on Saturday.

Carver has been thrust into the interim role following the departure of Alan Pardew, who was confirmed as the new Crystal Palace manager last weekend after the two Premier League clubs agreed a compensation package.

Despite disappointing in his two games in charge, a 3-3 draw with Burnley - which came as Pardew held discussions with Palace - and a 1-0 FA Cup third-round loss at Leicester City, Carver has made no secret of his desire to coach his hometown club on a permanent basis.

Newcastle's 2-1 win over Chelsea at St James' Park last month made it three consecutive home league successes against the title favourites, but it is different story on their travels to west London. 

The Tyneside club have earned only one league victory at Stamford Bridge since 1986, but Carver is undaunted by the task of improving that record.

"We're going up against one of the best sides – and best manager – in Europe, if not the world," said Carver.

"We've got a good record against Chelsea and we have to use that to our advantage this weekend.

"It'll be great standing in the technical area next to him. Hopefully he won't bully me.

"I'm going to take it in my stride and I'm going to enjoy it, but I want to win."

Chelsea have stuttered in the Premier League in recent weeks, with a draw at Southampton and a 5-3 defeat to Tottenham leaving them with an identical record to second-placed Manchester City.

Mourinho's side now only top the table by virtue of alphabetical order, but, after a comfortable 3-0 FA Cup win over Championship side Watford, striker Loic Remy - who spent last year on loan at Newcastle from QPR - insists spirits are high. 

"The mood is really positive and we're still focused on all of our targets. During the season every team will be in trouble at certain times," he said.

"For us I hope it's behind us now with the last two league games. The players are still happy. Against Watford we deserved the win and we showed we can react.

"We're still top of the league, we've qualified for the next round in the FA Cup so there is no reason to be negative.

"It's going to be hard but we want to win every competition, that's why the mentality and quality of the squad can make the difference."

Chelsea have no injury concerns heading into the game. Newcastle could be set to welcome first-choice goalkeeper Tim Krul - out since November with an ankle problem - back into the starting XI after playing in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Thursday.

Krul's deputy Rob Elliot (thigh) is still out, along with Rolando Aarons (hamstring), Mehdi Abeid (toe), Ryan Taylor (knee), Steven Taylor (Achilles) and Siem de Jong and Gabriel Obertan (both thigh).

Sammy Ameobi has a knee complaint, while Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse are both away on Africa Cup of Nations duty.

It remains to be seen whether Fabricio Coloccini (buttock), Daryl Janmaat (groin) and Jack Colback and Moussa Sissoko (both hamstring) will be fit after missing the defeat to Leicester.