Welcome to the future, young Marty McFly! We may not have hover cars powered by 1.21 jigowatt nuclear reactors, but hopefully that means we also still have same ol' Spurs out there, Spursing it up. Just like last time we saw them, a month ago.
As in December so in January. After surviving November with barely a scratch, Chelsea began December with a match against Spurs, winning handily 3-0. Yet December didn't quite kick on as well as we had hoped, and in fact, since that day, Spurs have collected one more point in the league than Chelsea have (11 points vs. 10 points). This clearly will not do. Balance must be restored, a no better time to do it than the start of a fresh new Gregorian calendar year.
Date / Time: Thursday, January 1, 2015, 17:30 GMT; 12:30pm EST; 11pm IST
Venue: Three Point Lane, London, England
Referee: Phil Dowd - a generally disliked man (thanks to having been around for quite some time) who probably needs no introduction, Dowd's back for the third time already this season. Earlier, he watched us beat Aston Villa 3-0 and then helped Manchester United earn a 1-1 last-gasp draw at Old Trafford. In the last two calendar years, Dowd refereed 13 Chelsea matches; we've won 10 of them.
Forecast: Mild, wet, and very gusty.
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports 4 / HD 2 (India); elsewhere
Online: BT Sport Online (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, Deportes Telemundo En Vivo Extra (USA); Star Sports (India)
Tottenham Hotspur Team News: Younès Kaboul (hip) and Nabil Bentalab (illness) are both doubtful, but beyond that Spurs have a clean bill of health. Bentaleb has been a key part of Pochettino's midfield plans so far this season; should he not recover, Benjamin Stambouli or perhaps Paulinho might get the start alongside young Ryan Mason. Speedy Kyle Walker is likely to be recalled to try to contain Hazard, while Erik Lamela should get the start after being rested against Manchester United last time out.
The draw against United was Spurs' fifth straight match unbeaten. At home, they haven't lost since early November. Despite a goal difference of zero, Spurs find themselves just two points out of fourth place. They are clearly in form (despite riding their luck hard in the first half against United), and if they're ever going to score a rare victory over the Blues, this just might be it. Harry Kane continues to produce (4 goals in 5 last appearances) and Christian Eriksen can win a game by himself.
View from the enemy: Cartilage Free Captain
Chelsea Team News: Chelsea remain injury free as well, though Oscar is slightly doubtful as he recovers from whatever illness it was that caused him to miss our 1-1 draw at Southampton.
The progressively louder question lately for Chelsea has been the question of rotation. Who, when, how much? But with (only) Watford in the FA Cup third round coming up next on Sunday, there is no reason not to play our strongest lineup in this one.
Previously: As mentioned yesterday, Chelsea have lost just three league matches at Three Point Lane since 1987, so we're spoilt for choice when looking for highlights. Let's go with the one from 1997/98 making the Twitter rounds earlier this week. Yellow socks!