Final chance for Blues defenders
Roberto Di Matteo has refused to rule out shock comebacks for Chelsea duo David Luiz and Gary Cahill in Saturday's FA Cup final.
Caretaker Blues boss Di Matteo is confident his squad will not hold back in Wednesday night's crucial Premier League game at home to Newcastle, regardless of the match taking place less than three days before their Wembley meeting with Liverpool.
The Stamford Bridge clash against the Magpies is arguably more important than Saturday's showpiece, with Di Matteo's number one priority ensuring Chelsea qualify for next season's Champions League.
And while the Italian has not resorted to banning any mention of the final ahead of Wednesday's game, he left no doubt where his focus lay.
"We've not talked about it at all," he said of the Liverpool game, insisting he had yet to pick his team for Wembley.
"I'm deciding for the game tomorrow.
"We'll see how the game goes tomorrow and then I'll be thinking about Saturday."
Asked if that meant performances against Newcastle would be taken into account, he said: "Yes. Not just tomorrow.
"I look a little bit more back and look at maybe the last three or four weeks and the way we played and the different players in positions and so on."
It would only be human for players to subconsciously hold back on Wednesday for fear of injuring themselves, but Di Matteo said: "We cannot allow ourselves to think like that and I think we've shown before that we don't do that, in the semi-final against Spurs before the Champions League semi-final, and at Arsenal and so on.
"I don't think that'll be an issue for us.
"We know how important the game is tomorrow for our club and the players who are going to be playing will be fully committed."
Defenders Luiz and Cahill will miss the match, both with hamstring injuries, but both were seen running on Tuesday at Chelsea's training ground.
Di Matteo said they will be reassessed again on Thursday and Friday and while it looks unlikely Cahill in particular will be fit for the weekend, Di Matteo was optimistic of both being back before the Champions League final.
He said: "Hopefully, they'll be ready before. I have hope but we don't know yet."
Winning next month's glamour clash with Bayern Munich would, of course, make the outcome of Wednesday's match redundant for Chelsea.
And Di Matteo would have no qualms knocking the Magpies or Tottenham out of the Champions League were one of them to finish fourth in the Premier League.
"For us, it's important that we try to win it, and whatever the consequences are for somebody else doesn't really bother us," he said.
But Di Matteo was determined to leave nothing to chance, starting with a win on Wednesday that would see the Blues leapfrog their opponents and finish the evening in at least fifth place.
Newcastle are in uncharted water to a large extent and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech claimed on Sunday that could prove their undoing.
Di Matteo agreed on Tuesday, saying: "We have players that have been in this situation before and have certainly the experience to be playing in all these important games with a lot of pressure on us.
"It could prove decisive."
Chelsea are arguably in the best form of all of the contenders to finish fourth after Newcastle were thrashed 4-0 at Wigan on Saturday.
The Blues recorded their biggest win of the season the following day by beating QPR 6-1, Fernando Torres scoring his first hat-trick for the club.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could not hide his glee, high-fiving his companions in the directors' box as Di Matteo ticked off another item on the Russian's to-do list by getting Torres firing.
That is something the sacked Carlo Ancelotti and Andre Villas-Boas failed to manage but Di Matteo played down the impact it might have on his hopes of being appointed full-time.
"When you have good results, everybody connected with the club is very happy and I'm pleased we put a smile on our boss but I think everybody from the players to our supporters were pleased on Sunday," he said.