All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge including the upcoming FA Cup clash with Manchester City and the midweek clash with West Bromwich Albion.
Chelsea defeated Newcastle United by a 3-0 score on Saturday, February 8 on the same day Arsenal lost to Liverpool, to go one point clear at the top of the Premier League and, on Tuesday evening, have the opportunity to extend - albeit temporarily - their advantage at the summit as they take on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns 24 hours prior to Arsenal and Manchester City's matches against Manchester United and Sunderland, respectively.
For Chelsea, John Terry who was absent from the Blues triumph over the Magpies, will also be unavailable for selection tomorrow evening due to the perpetual muscle complaint: 'John is out,' manager Jose Mourinho confirmed. 'I expect him to play next weekend. Fernando [Torres] is available.'
Meanwhile, two of the richest clubs in terms of financial firepower and depth in squad collide once again this weekend and the two respective bosses - Mourinho at Chelsea and Manuel Pellegrini for Manchester City - appear to be enjoying a growing rivalry.
First, Mourinho claimed City seemed to be getting a run of luck when it came to referee decisions, then came Pellegrini's response over the transfer sums Chelsea have agreed to, now comes Jose's latest…
'I think he's a fantastic coach, and I respect that a lot, and on top of that, outside his football career, he's an engineer by academic formation [but I] don't think an engineer needs a calculator to do [Juan] Mata £37million and [Kevin] De Bruyne £18million, so that's £55million.
"[Nemanja] Matic is £21million and [Mohamed] Salah is £11million. That's £32million, so 55 minus 32 is 23. So Chelsea, in this transfer window, generated £23million. It's easy to understand that this is working with financial fair play, fair financial fair play,' said Mourinho, as quoted by Sky Sports.
'We are building a team for the next decade, if possible. They have a team to win now because they don't have a team for 10 years.'
This statement demonstrates Mourinho still wants to cling on to the underdog status despite his club's standing atop the division, however, he also added that while Pellegrini once claimed to not respond to his comments, he cannot now say the same thing, meaning Jose has changed the City boss.
'The only thing that is funny that he keeps saying he never responds to Mourinho, he never comments about Mourinho. He said that in Spain, too. So, he's changed.'
Star Blue Eden Hazard added, as per ESPN: 'At the moment we are playing well and picking up plenty of points. We are first in the table now and we hope we can stay there until the end of the season.'
The Belgium forward then said that Chelsea's armoury is less well-stocked than that at the Etihad Stadium: 'I think we are less well-armed than City, even though when we played there we won [1-0 earlier this month]. Arsenal lost heavily at Liverpool, but they are a great side too so we will see. There isn't a lot of difference between the teams so it will be in the details. The best will come out on top.'
image: © Ronnie Macdonald