It's been less than 10 days, yet it feels like ages ago that we felt a major disturbance in the force emanating from North London. Chelsea have even played another game in the meantime, though it doesn't really feel like it counted as it was not broadcast live. While the pain of that debacle on New Year's Day may have been dulled by the days gone by since, it still feels like it needs a bit of closure. Newcastle, then, should be as good of an opportunity as any to avenge recent pains, not just the Spurs defeat but the loss up at St. James' Park as well. Two for the price of one! Take me to value town, Diego Costa!
In the larger picture, the Premier League race has been reset and the 18-match season begins right here, right now. We probably have a slightly easier schedule than Manchester City, but that's hardly a guarantee of anything. The only way to guarantee the title is by taking care of our own business. A nice, long, consistent winning streak -- including the big showdown at the end of the month -- would be the perfect way to kick off the remainder of the season.
So, let's get on with it.
Date / Time: Saturday, January 10, 2015, 15:00 GMT; 10am EST; 8:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Roger East - one of the newest (yet oldest!) members and lesser lights of the Select Group of Referees, this will be just the sixth Premier League match this season for Roger East (about half the average rate for most of the usual suspects). He has never refereed a Chelsea match before, though he had been fourth official a few times.
Forecast: Mild and rainy in the morning, colder, drier, sunnier in the afternoon. Slightly weird.
On TV: none (UK); NBCSN, mun2 (USA); Star Sports 2 (India); elsewhere
Online: NBC Sports Live Extra, Deportes Telemundo En Vivo Extra (USA); Star Sports (India)
Chelsea Team News: A clean bill of health, zero suspensions (except for possibly Mourinho* himself), and no midweek game coming up should mean a first-choice starting lineup. Which will mean all the usual suspects, probably, despite the historic five conceded against Spurs.
* Jose Mourinho should just do Marshawn Lynch-style press conferences from here on out.
Newcastle United Team News: Since dealing Chelsea our first loss in early December, it's all gone wrong for the Toon. (That's what you get; take heed, Tottenham!) Four straight losses followed, eventually leading to coach-for-life Alan Pardew's abdication of the Geordie throne. The new man in charge is Pardew's assistant John Carver, who has a name fit for an action star but is so far winless in his two games at the helm (including a loss to Leicester City in the FA Cup).
In direct contrast with Chelsea, the Magpies lead the injury charts, with no less than 14 players being listed on Physio Room's injury list. While several are expected to be back, including first-choice goalkeeper Tim Krul, many are still out. A couple more key players will be missing thanks to the Africa Cup of Nations, including the man who always seems to score against us, Papiss Cisse.
View From The Enemy: Coming Home Newcastle
Previously: The loss in December continued our rather terrible recent form against Newcastle: Chelsea have now won just three of the previous 10 meetings overall, though at least we've won the last two at home. So we've got that going for us, which is nice. This will the 157th match between the two sides; Chelsea lead the all-time series 65-52.