Too much about Chelsea's campaign has felt depressingly familiar, from a prolonged slump as winter sets in to the brutal sacking of the manager, so there might be something refreshing about a step into the unknown. At around six o'clock local time on Sunday, Rafael Benítez and his players will touch down at Narita airport outside Tokyo seeking respite from recent toils, the week ahead offering the ailing European Cup winners the chance of world domination. The mid-season fillip has to be seized.
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has insisted the Blues can win the Club World Cup championships in Japan.
The club's chairman Huw Jenkins has talked about the plans to add up to 12,000 seats to the Liberty, as demand continues to grow with Swansea's success on the pitch.
Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez says he won’t recall Romelu Lukaku from his loan deal at West Brom. He’s made the wrong choice for a number of reasons.
Celtic have pulled off the unexpected by going through with Barcelona to the last 16 of the Champions League. What’s the best they can hope for?
Manchester City could be set to poach 18-year-old winger Gerard Deulofeu from Spanish giants Barcelona.
When Juan Manuel Marquez drilled a foot-long right of brain-numbing power on to the unprotected chin of Manny Pacquiao in the penultimate second of the sixth round of their fourth contest, leaving him sprawled face first in a twitching heap, he surely levelled the ledger between them – although there might be more life in this rivalry yet.
The Italian prime minister, Mario Monti, has announced that he will resign as soon as he has passed a key budget law, well ahead of the official end of his mandate in April, possibly leading to elections as early as February.
Juan Manuel Márquez beats Manny Pacquiao.
Sir Alex Ferguson is not usually one who appreciates recommendations from the football writers he keeps a very long arm's length away, but perhaps I may be emboldened enough – given the way he has always recognised the need to absorb new information and thinks nothing of devouring a good book in one sitting – to point him in the direction of a new work about the art of goalkeeping.