HAVING lost to Manchester City and drawn with Manchester United, Yohan Cabaye is confident Newcastle are capable of rounding off a testing treble by beating Chelsea provided they reproduce their performance from Old Trafford.
The Magpies drew 1-1 at the weekend, with Demba Ba's penalty a just reward for their efforts even if it owed much to a fortuitous decision from referee Mike Jones.
Whereas they were outclassed for periods of the previous weekend's defeat at the Etihad Stadium, Saturday's game saw them more than match a Manchester United side who remain comfortably ensconced in second position.
Loading article content
And with fifth-placed Chelsea having lost three of their last five league games, Cabaye feels Newcastle will claim a notable scalp provided they do not allow their performance levels to dip from the standards they established at the weekend.
"We learned from the City game," said the French midfielder, who could resume his partnership with Cheik Tiote in three days time if the Ivory Coast international finally completes his recovery from a knee problem. "We learned not to give Man United too much respect.
"It was important to play higher up the pitch and I think we did well. Against Chelsea, we have to play like we did at Old Trafford."
While they have not beaten Chelsea in a league game since 2006, Newcastle are entitled to go into Saturday's lunch-time kick-off in a confident mood given their record of four wins and two draws from their six home games this season.
"We have to believe in ourselves," said Cabaye. "It's important to win the game. We've got to play like the winning team. We will be at home so we have to play like a top-of-the-league team to win this match."
Chelsea go into this weekend's game ten points adrift of league leaders Manchester City, and while last weekend's 3-0 win over Wolves lifted some of the pressure on Andre Villas-Boas, the Londoners cannot afford to drop more points on their visit to the North-East.
Their title hopes have suffered a series of significant blows in the last few weeks, and Cabaye feels the battle for the Premier League crown is already a two-horse race.
"I think the two Manchester clubs will be the top two for the rest of the season," he said. "I think they will be the teams fighting for the league.
"Are City better? I don't know. It's hard to compare the two. Man United have some very good players, so it is difficult to simply say that Man City are better than Man United."