After a flurry of cup weekend thrills and spills, the Premier League returns with a fixture as deep-rooted as the competition itself.
Chelsea welcome Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge, both feeling the effects of disappointing results in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup respectively.
Now focused fully on the league, both sides have stakes either end of the table; Maurizio Sarri sits fourth in the top-flight table with the Blues whilst ex-Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez swings perilously two points above the relegation zone.
In recent memory, Chelsea have been victorious in five of the past seven meetings with the Magpies, only after losing four of the previous six. Expect the unexpected.
With clashing dating back to 1907, we have taken a look through the history books at three players to have donned both the Chelsea and Newcastle strips throughout their careers.
Damien Duff (Chelsea 2003-2006, Newcastle United 2006-2009)
Less Irish luck, more dogged determination by Damien Duff, who has played out a fine 19-year professional career at the summit of senior football.
Chelsea and Claudio Ranieri recognised his worth, signing him from Blackburn Rovers in July 2003. A favourite of the ‘Tinkerman’, Duff featured on 23 occasions in his debut season yet could not retain Ranieri’s spot as the Blues’ boss.
With Jose Mourinho at the helm in at the start of the 2004/05 season, the Republic of Ireland international was forced to wait his turn with the arrival of Arjen Robben. This proved to be successful patience, as the pair formed a powerful wing partnership whilst Chelsea went on to lift the title with Duff making 30 league appearances. After another 125 games for the club, he set sail up north to Newcastle.
His time in black and white was certainly coloured. He suffered several injuries set-backs, before enduring relegation with Newcastle at the end of the 2008/09 campaign. Not satisfied with his stay in the lower division, he aided the Magpies to soar straight back into the Premier League.
Although Ireland have yet to find their pot of gold at an international tournament, Duff excelled for his country. With a century of caps, he sits fifth for all-time appearances for the national side, whilst representing them at the 2002 World Cup and 2012 European Championships.
Loic Remy (Newcastle 2013-2014, Chelsea 2014-2017)
France was the forgery of Loic Remy, with his senior life in football starting at Lens before moves to both Nice and Marseille. Newcastle snatched his signature on loan from Queens Park Rangers in 2013.
Beginnings could rarely be brighter, Remy finding the net on five occasions in his first three games, continuing his form with consecutive strikes in victories against Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City.
He ended his stay on Tyne and Wear with an impressive ratio of 14 goals in 27 appearances. Chelsea approved of his record, sealing his signature permanently in 2014. Their faith was initially repaid as Remy scored on his Blues debut.
Diego Costa controlled the front line, meaning the Frenchman had to play second fiddle for his stay in London, managing to find the net 12 times across an underwhelming two years.
Like Costa at Chelsea, France have rarely been short of a recognised striker, Remy’s timing being unfortunate to unfold into the national side. He did travel to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, featuring for a grand total of 85 minutes across the tournament.
Scott Parker (Chelsea 2004-2005, Newcastle 2005-2007)
Reliable as they come, Scott Parker will prefer to forget his time as a Chelsea player. Charlton Athletic were minors compared to the English goliath of Chelsea, so who could have argued with the Blues signing Parker for £10 million in 2004.
His debut season could be deemed as a success. Despite only making 11 league appearances, Parker had done more than enough to earn the PFA’s Young Player of the Year award.
After a glimmering beginning, things began to cloud for the midfielder as new arrivals and injury hindrances left him out in the cold and without a Premier League winner’s medal for the 2004/05 campaign.
To relight his evident potential, a move to Newcastle in 2005 was a wise one. Quickly he asserted himself as a regular, a general in the middle of the park which had been lost in London.
So much so, Parker was offered the captain’s armband a year later, succeeding none other Alan Shearer as the striker settled for retirement. His one of only two trophies to date came in the prodigious UEFA Intertoto Cup of 2008, leading Newcastle to ultimate glory.
England have been blessed with some of the finest midfielders in this generation, therefore Parker fell short by no means of his own. Having worked his way from the Three Lions’ Under-16s, he made his senior international debut in 2003 against Denmark.
It was not until nine years after his senior debut where Parker’s potential was truly unlocked. He started all four of England’s fixtures at EURO 2012, reaching the quarter-finals only to be knocked out by Italy.
By Nathaniel Kay