So what do we call this one? El Sanctionico? El Uncomfortablico? El Inconvenientico? El Hypocrítico? El Selloursoulsico? El Itsjustfootballico? El Welooktheotherwayico? El Notheotherotherwayico?
I don’t even really know what to think anymore sometimes. Not that any of this is about me personally, nor am I trying to make it about me. There’s just much too much happening, anything and everything, all of the time. At the club, outside the club, in the world, near and far. Sports, at its ideal best, is meant to “persuade us of a life outside” of war or death or famine or whatever ails the world and its peoples, whatever the currently powerful are doing to the currently powerless. Clearly, that’s not possible, feasible, advisable at the moment.
Short thread: it's quite right that the UK has sanctioned Roman Abramovich and deprived him of control of Chelsea. English football has suddenly turned against him. But: all this is just hypocrisy as long as the English game doesn't go after far more culpable club owners //— Simon Kuper (@KuperSimon) March 11, 2022
Anyway, here’s a game between new and welcome money in the Premier League and old and unwelcome money in the Premier League. Sports!
Date / Time: Sunday, March 13, 2022, 14.00 GMT; 10am EDT (spring forward!); 7:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: David Coote (on pitch); John Brooks (VAR)
Forecast: dark and stormy with a chance of historical ruin ... or possibly just a bit of rain
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League; Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Chelsea team news: Financial experts estimate that we have anywhere from two weeks to two months of cash reserves and usable income to keep solvent and operational as things stand at the moment. Things are of course changing constantly, sometimes by the hour.
In the shadow of all that, we have injuries to deal with as well, with Reece James set to miss the rest of the month, Callum Hudson-Odoi still dealing with a knock, and César Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic, and Marcos Alonso all battling symptoms of some (non-covid) illness or illnesses.
Despite all that’s going on and gone on, our results have been very good, League Cup final aside. We’ve won 9 of 10 in all competitions, including four in a row in the Premier League to stay comfortably in third.
Newcastle United team news: One team who have been in just as good, if not even better form however are the Magpies, who come in unbeaten in nine straight in the league, with six wins including the last three. In fact, they have not lost in the league since before Christmas, with manager Eddie Howe guiding the team to probable safety after relegation looking a very likely possibility not that long ago. Kudos to him and his focus on football as well.
Newcastle have been finding goals from all over the pitch, while they have conceded just four goals in their last seven games. The January spending spree is indeed paying off, with Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn, Chris Wood, and Bruno Guimarães all quickly becoming key players at a combined cost of £80m+. The latter two even scored their first goals for the club in the midweek 2-1 win over Southampton at St Mary’s.
It’s not all good news for them however, with Trippier, Jamal Lewis, and Callum Wilson possibly out for the rest of the season, and the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Fabian Schär, Joelinton, and Bruno facing late fitness tests due to various ailments.
View from the enemy: Coming Home Newcastle
Previously: Chelsea have won three in a row (conceding none) and six of the last seven (conceding just three) against Newcastle, whose last win at the Bridge came in May 2012 (THE Papiss Cissé game). A Reece James second-half brace keyed our 3-0 win earlier this season, but as Tuchel said, that was a very different Newcastle.