Champions League hero Ryan Bertrand returns to the Bridge. As does former hopeful Oriol Romeu. But what we're really waiting for is the return of good times, good hope, and good results.
Just four wins from eleven matches all season; this is Mourinho's toughest test of his career. As a neutral observer, schadenfreude aside, it must be fascinating to see how Chelsea and The Special One will recover from this. As a non-neutral observer, well, it's something other than just fascinating.
A crisis of confidence is threatening to blow up into a true crisis with anything less than a win here. Unlike our last two matches, where a draw and a narrow loss could be explained away thanks to the venue and the nature of the competition, this match is a must win. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
So let's go already.
Date / Time: Saturday, October 3, 2015, 17:30 BST; 12:30pm EDT; 10pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Robert Madley -- the Premier League's youngest referee (yes, even younger than Michael Oliver) will take charge of his first Chelsea match ever. His first senior Chelsea match that is. He did referee both legs of last year's FA Youth Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester City. We won. This will be his sixth Premier League appointment of the season; the home team's won just once in the previous five.
Forecast: Morning fog, cooling temperatures, diminished hopes, shorter days, longer nights, end of line
On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); NBC, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports 4 / HD 4 (India); elsewhere
Online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra (USA); Star Sports (India)
Chelsea team news: Thibaut Courtois remains out. There's no word yet of Marco Amelia getting officially signed yet, so Asmir Begovic is likely to be backed up by youngster Jamal Blackman once again. Diego Costa is the only other expected unavailability as he serves the final game of his three-match suspension.
All eyes will be on Mourinho's lineup to see just who rotates in, who rotates out, and who will start alongside Branislav Ivanovic. Here's our prediction.
The penultimate international break of the calendar year begins after this weekend. Anything other than a win, and we have two weeks to contemplate the darkest timeline. So let's try to avoid that, please.
Southampton team news: The only real question is whether Jordy Clasie's finally ready to go after joining the club as Morgan Schneiderlin's replacement this summer. If he isn't, strongman Victor Wanyama's likely to be partnered by veteran Steven Davis or perhaps Chelsea reject Oriol Romeu. Fellow ex-Chelsea man Ryan Bertrand made his return from injury last weekend and was back to his usual quality self.
View from the enemy: St. Mary's Musings
Previously: Two straight draws against Saints, but Chelsea haven't lost to Southampton at the Bridge since the second day of the 2002 calendar year. "New year, same old Chelsea," began The Guardian's match report. Claudio Ranieri was at a loss. So was everyone else. Sound familiar?