PAPISS Demba Cisse’s found his shooting boots – and that spells more trouble for Chelsea.
Cisse scored two stunning goals in Newcastle United’s 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge late last season.
But the striker, shifted to the right side of midfield before Demba Ba’s departure to Chelsea earlier this month, has struggled for form this term.
But Cisse, now the focal point of Pardew’s attack, took his tally for the season to seven goals with a strike in Tuesday night’s win over Aston Villa at Villa Park, the club’s first away win since the win at Stamford Bridge in May.
The 27-year-old latched on to a pass from Moussa Sissoko and rolled the ball past advancing goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
And United manager Alan Pardew is hopeful Cisse can pick up where Ba left off, with Chelsea next up at St James’s Park on Saturday.
“I think Papiss scoring was important,” Pardew told the Gazette. “He’s had a few big chances and not scored.
“That’ll do him the world of good, and it was a great pass from Sissoko.”
The win over Villa lifted Newcastle into 15th place, with Pardew’s side now four points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone.
And there was a feeling after the game in the dressing room that the result – and performance – will prove a turning point in the club’s season.
With United’s ranks having been swelled by four signings last week, Pardew also feels he has the personnel to “challenge” Rafa Benitez’s team in a way he didn’t before last week’s influx of players.
“The stadium’s going to have a different feel on Saturday,” added Pardew.
“We’ve got a big club coming – Chelsea – and the players deserve it to be positive after that performance, and I think it will be.
“For me on the sidelines, we’ve got a team that can challenge Chelsea.
“We’ll need a bit of luck to beat them, but I think we can do it.”