The sporting world is alive with the sound of jabs, hooks, and horse hoofs, but I couldn't possibly care less. I wouldn't care in normal circumstances either, but I especially don't care in today's circumstances. It may be the Fight of the Century and it may be the Kentucky Derby, but all I care about is some dudes in Blue shirts lifting a cup with ribbons. Even though we've basically known this was coming for a couple months now, it will be a joyous occasion nonetheless. Get ready, for confetti.
Chelsea do need to win tomorrow to clinch the title with three games left still. Chances are we could lose our last four games and still win it, but win this one and we clinch in style and in front of the home crowd at Stamford Bridge.
Date / Time: Sunday, May 3, 2015, 13:30 BST; 8:30am EDT; 6pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Kevin Friend — Chelsea are unbeaten in seven straight under Friend (4-3-0), including three already this season (2-1-0). We last saw him in the 3-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup.
Forecast: Morning rain, but, hopefully, afternoon sunshine.
On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); NBCSN, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports 4 / HD 4 (India); elsewhere
Online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Universo Now (USA); Star Sports (India)
Chelsea team news: Diego Costa remains sidelined with his hamstring issues and there's a good chance that he's been shut down for the season, especially if we clinch the title today. Loic Remy should be back to start and impress after we spent the last three games with Drogba and Oscar approximating semi-effective center forwards. Some sources also claim that Thibaut Courtois is still a bit doubtful with the hip injury that kept him out midweek, but I have not seen any official word on this.
There's little incentive for Mourinho to roll with anything other than our usual lineup, for now. Should we clinch, we will have three games left to play backups and youngsters and maybe players looking for a record (like Fabregas and his quest to beat Thierry Henry's assist-record of 20). Petr Cech can't catch or beat the Premier League career clean sheets record anymore, but with two of the last three games at home, he could at least receive a hero's sendoff before he leaves us in the summer.
Crystal Palace team news: Palace have changed managers since the last time we saw them, trading highly detestable Neil Warnock (who kicked off all the whining this season about Chelsea surrounding referees) to much more likable Alan Pardew. Fortunately for them, they also traded crap results for much better results. At one point, Pardew's Palace was handily outperforming Manchester City, for example, though Pellegrini's implosion is hilarious on its own right. After 8 wins in 12, Palace have lost their last 2.
Strikers Marouane Chamakh and Frazier Campbell are both injured but fairly impressive right back Joel Ward, who recently signed a new contract extension, is set to return after a shin injury. Pardew's 4-2-3-1 boasts plenty of speed (Zaha, Bolasie), trickery (Puncheon), and grit (Murray, Jedinak, McArthur), so while they don't have much left to play for, sitting safely at midtable, they won't be pushovers.
Previously: Chelsea clinched the 2005-06 title with a home win at Stamford Bridge, 3-0 against Manchester United. That was fun.