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Soccer-Chelsea pair Cech and Mata fit for Newcastle trip

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech and playmaker Juan Mata have been passed fit to play in Saturday's Premier League game at Newcastle United.

"Mata was training today and so was Petr Cech and both are available for selection," interim manager Rafael Benitez told a news conference on Friday.

Ross Turnbull deputised for Cech in the previous two games while the Czech Republic international was sidelined with a calf injury.

Spain midfielder Mata was forced off during Wednesday's 2-2 draw at Reading because of an ankle problem.

Striker Demba Ba returns to Newcastle for the first time since joining Chelsea from the north-east club at the start of the January transfer window but Benitez would not be drawn on whether he or Fernando Torres would start in attack.

"I think he is confident he can do well if he plays," Benitez said of Ba, who has been on the bench while Torres has started the last two matches.

Chelsea are third in the table, 13 points behind leaders Manchester United, while Newcastle are sixth from bottom, four points above the relegation zone. (Writing by Tony Jimenez, editing by Ken Ferris)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130201/soccer-chelsea-pair-cech-and-mata-fit-newcastle-trip