In the first half of the 20th century, we had an excellent record when Chelsea came up for a visit to Tyneside which puts our current great recent record in that same category to shame. In the years spanning from 1910 to 1954, we were unbeaten in 19 consecutive league matches at home to Chelsea - winning 14 of those. In more recent times, we have an excellent record against the Londoners at St. James' Park. Something which has mainly seen Jose Mourinho try and win his first league game at St. James' Park, or as he affectionately calls it, The Sir Bobby Robson Stadium after the Portuguese manager worked as his assistant at Barcelona.
Kenedy may have escaped receiving retrospective action after his violent conduct against Cardiff but he will not be available for selection on Sunday because he cannot play against his parent club, Chelsea.
And finally, with Chelsea being no strangers to the sacking culture that has developed amongst the world's biggest teams, Maurizio Sarri will be making his first visit to St James' Park while still being in a honeymoon period of being in the job at Stamford Bridge with two wins (against Huddersfield and Arsenal) in as many games.
Facts and Figures
Chelsea wins: 69
Newcastle wins: 53
Chelsea wins: 22
Newcastle wins: 12
Premier League at St. James' Park
Newcastle wins: 11
Chelsea wins: 6
Previous ten (all competitions)
Chelsea wins: 5 (21 goals)
Newcastle wins: 4 (14 goals)
Biggest win: Newcastle United 5 - 0 Chelsea (16/11/1974)
Biggest defeat: Newcastle United 1 - 6 Chelsea (25/03/1961)
Newcastle United 3 - 2 Chelsea - 02/02/2013 (Premier League)
Steven Taylor: With the score at 3-2 in added time, Taylor blocked Frank Lampard's shot in the area where it hurts the most. There were appeals for a handball against Taylor but replays showed otherwise as the local lad gingerly picked himself up (understandably) and managed to help see the game out.
Fabricio Coloccini: Following Demba Ba's move to Chelsea just a few weeks before this game, the Senegalese international swiftly returned to St. James' Park but in a blue shirt. It was safe to say that Ba(stard) was not the most popular person on Tyneside that afternoon with the crowd getting on his back at every opportunity. It did not end well for Ba as his game was cut short following a first half collision with former teammate Fabricio Coloccini left the striker with a facial injury. Nice one, Colo! After Ba left the pitch, the attention turned from him and then onto the quality display of football that was on offer that afternoon with Jonas Gutierrez breaking the deadlock shortly after Coloccini's collision with Ba.
Davide Santon: Assisted the opening goal by whipping in an excellent cross for Gutierrez to direct his header home. Later on in the game, the Italian got the assist for the winning goal. After receiving the ball from Sissoko, he dribbled into the box and picked out Sissoko who fired the ball in first time and low past Cech from just outside the box to give the club their first home win since Christmas.
Yoan Gouffran: Similar to Moussa Sissoko and late substitute, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Gouffran was on home debut following his arrival from Bordeaux shortly before the January transfer window closed. Interestingly, Gouffran played at St. James' Park in October of the 2012/13 season as Newcastle convincingly beat, eventual group
winners, Bordeaux 3-0 in the Europa League. Specific to the Chelsea game in question, with the score at 2-1 in Chelsea's favour, Gouffran was set through on goal by Papiss Cisse. Upon reaching the one on one scenario with Petr Cech, the Frenchman's shot was saved by Cech but fell straight to the eagerly waiting (for once it is not Real Madrid) Sissoko to give him a home debut goal and the equalizer with twenty-two minutes to go.
Moussa Sissoko: After impressing on debut against Aston Villa by assisting Papiss Cisse to score the game's opening goal four days before his home debut against Chelsea, Sissoko added more value for money to his £2million price tag from Toulouse - as much as I do not like the man now, I cannot deny that he was in excellent form after his arrival at the club. Interestingly though, the two managers in the respective dugouts that afternoon would have key decisions on Sissoko's career at Newcastle - Pardew brought the Frenchman in whilst Rafa Benitez of course, who was in charge of Chelsea at the time to replace Roberto Di Matteo, would sell Sissoko when he arrives on Tyneside three years later.
Jonas Gutierrez: It was a very well taken goal from the Argentine winger and one that clearly meant a lot to him as he had a passionate celebration to match. Jonas header put Newcastle one goal up at half time but it was the chain of events that occurred in the second half that made this game memorable. Interestingly, that was Gutierrez's last goal for Newcastle before scoring the all importantly stress relieving second goal against West Ham on the final day of the 2014/15 season. The time in between those goals was an incredibly difficult time in Jonas' life with his battle against cancer (which he won) along with Alan Pardew and John Carver refusing to play him so as to not trigger a pay rise clause in his contract (a lawsuit that Jonas later won and was duly awarded compensation) before being released by the club in a disgraceful manner by John Carver.
Papiss Cisse: Following the magic touch of goals here, there and everywhere following his arrival a year before this game, Cisse certainly found goals harder to come by and sadly no longer flowed from him like water. His presence in the match against Chelsea however did present problems for the defence which gave the midfield the freedom to do what they did best with regards to going forward and trying to get the goals.