It's perhaps appropriate that in the year of the fake table, Chelsea can go top with a win here, our penultimate match of the season, even though we're left with barely a hope of actually winning the title. While Liverpool still have to cope with Pulisball on Monday, Manchester City already took care of business in their toughest remaining fixture - they now have two home matches against highly terrible opposition left. The title is surely theirs to lose.
But, as Mourinho said, all we can do is win our matches and hope for a miracle. Chelsea's last two are both against the bottom three, one of whom have already confirmed their relegation (Cardiff City), while the other will confirm it with a loss at Stamford Bridge (Norwich City).
Last week, another team in the bottom three at the time saw their stars align and walked away from the Bridge with a win. That, coupled with midweek European disappointment - not to mention the ultimate disappointment of basically throwing away the Premier League title with three hilarious losses in our last seven matches - should be a recipe for Chelsea to exact some revenge and put up some crooked numbers on the scoreboard. It's the last game at Stamford Bridge this season; let's end on a good note! Sorry, Norwich City.
Date/Time: Sunday, May 4, 2014, 16:00 BST; 11am EDT; 8:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Preston, Lancashire) - one of the oldest referees (48) though also one of the newest since he started his career a bit later than most, this will be Swarbrick's sixth ever Chelsea match and the third this season. He also took charge of our reverse fixture in Norwich (3-1 to the Blues; goals from Oscar, Hazard, Willian), as well as our siege of and subsequent impasse with 19th Century West Ham. Chelsea are undefeated (4-1-0) in Swarbrick's matches.
Forecast: I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all the obstacles in my way; gone are the dark clouds that had me blind, it's gonna be a bright, bright, bright, bright sun-shiny day.
On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); NBCSN (USA); Star Sports 3, 4, HD 2 (India)
Online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra (USA); Star Sports (India)
Chelsea team news: Petr Cech is out with the dislocated shoulder. Ramires will serve the second match of his four-match suspension while fellow Brazilian Oscar is basically done for the season with his hip issue.
But all eyes will be on where Eden Hazard starts this match. Hopefully he'll be back out there in his customary left wing spot, ready to cast aside all the midweek media brouhaha. The rest of the lineup is anybody's guess at this point with possibly everything but probably nothing left to play for. I do expect Nemanja Matic, Frank Lampard, and Mohamed Salah to all return after their forced midweek absence, with Willian supporting the attack and the usual suspects (barring any nagging injury issues) in defense.
Norwich City team news: Anthony Pilkington, the man who scored Norwich's only goal in our first meeting this season, is out with a thigh injury, while veteran Joseph Yobo faces a late fitness test. Not that it should matter, as Norwich are fairly abject. Losers of five in a row, they haven't won away from home since beating West Bromwich Albion in early December.
Their biggest and perhaps only threat is speedy right winger and second-leading scorer Robert Snodgrass who is in decent form with 5 goals in his last 12 matches. Big money summer signing Ricky van Wolfsvinkel has been an absolute bust and a season that started with some promise after an 11th place finish in 2012-13 has cost manager Chris Hughton his job and the club their Premier League status.
Previously: Twenty years ago, when Norwich were challenging for top division titles, Chelsea lost 3-0. Since then, the two teams have played just ten times, Chelsea winning eight and drawing two. The Canaries have only scored four times in those ten and both draws were 0-0 affairs. Basically, if we score, we got this in the bag. Though I thought the same thing on Wednesday, too...