Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho expects another tough test at St James' ParkGetty Images

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho expects Newcastle United to again raise their level for the visit of the unbeaten Premier League leaders this weekend.

The Blues boss has never won in four domestic visits to St James' Park but goes in search of a record 24th successive game without defeat against Alan Pardew's side, who have lost one of their last eight games.

And Mourinho believes Newcastle will be a different proposition than they are for other Premier League sides, with the Portuguese boss accusing the Toon as well as other sides of playing "friendlies".

"Because it is difficult," the Chelsea boss responded when asked about his dismal record in the north east. "It is difficult to play.

"Because there are a few stadiums in this country where when they see the Chelsea shirt they make the game of their lives and when they play against others team they look like they're playing friendlies. But maybe because Chelsea in the last decade became a strong team that everyone wants to beat."

Gary Cahill is the only injury absentee for Chelsea as they aim to lay down a marker ahead of the remainder of the Premier League weekend in the lunchtime kick-off.

Cahill went off at half-time in the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday 3 December after a clash of heads with Jan Vertonghen and will miss the weekend's game.

Mourinho confirmed after the match the England defender was taken off as a precaution but the decision to withdraw him from Chelsea's next game comes after the club came under fire for the manner in which they dealt with the head injury suffered by Thibaut Courtois.

"He [Cahill] is OK," he said. "No concussion and he doesn't need special care. He was maybe just a bit afraid of heading the ball."