It is customary to preview a match with relevant information. Important facts such as recent play, injuries, possible changes in lineups and prior matches cēterīs paribus are all important. Of-course you will notice my use of Latin phrase, a scientific assumption that loosely translates to "with all other things equal" that in many ways defines this match and of-course dates me for using Latin terms.
In-truth with this match "all things" are not equal and the typical "facts first" approach would be misleading. For this match the slate is wiped clean as Alan Shearer is now in-charge and if ever their was a call to arms, this is it.
Chelsea is, as we all know, a robust squad that has its eye towards catching Manchester United in the race for the Premier League crown and the next weeks Champions League affair with Liverpool. A side of the finest pedigree visiting one fighting for the survival in the Premier League. By all accounts a preview in many other situations would be well contained within the "typical" realm of thought but this is far from typical.
This match will be decided with a roll-up the sleeves mentality. A die-hard's approach to not allowing a blade of grass go unchallenged that will judge a mans claret. The call to Mr. Shearer is the ultimate Ace in the Hole and there is nary a player on the pitch that can't recognize it. Rarely will you see a situation where a side is so uplifted and I expect the Toon Army, a sea of number 9's, to supply its heartiest of twelfth man advantages.
For the match, the Magpies will be without Ignacio González, Joey Barton, Mark Viduka and Shola Ameobi however a host of players are fighting for a spot in the lineup as nagging injuries or not, all realize it is time to put it all on the line. The stage is set, the cameras ready as a legend returns home.