There's certainly an argument to be made that Nemanja Matic has been Chelsea's most important player this season. The ever-present holding midfielder allows for all of the players around him to focus exclusively on their best attributes - John Terry and Gary Cahill can focus on marking opposition strikers, and Cesc Fabregas is freed up to control the tempo and make the incisive passes that have him at the top of the league's assist chart.
Matic will serve a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation today, and we'll soon find out how Jose Mourinho's men are able to cope as, unlike Didier Drogba's excellent cameo for Diego Costa in week 14, there's certainly no like-for-like replacement for the Serbian in the squad.
Newcastle enter into the match in good form, and they'll be full of belief that they can be the first team to take all three points from the London club, but the Magpies have their own issues to overcome with a number of regular starters set to miss out through injury.
Following the early match, we've got a host of exciting matches to watch, with Tottenham Hotspur hosting Crystal Palace, Arsenal traveling to the Britannia to face Stoke City, Liverpool hoping to continue their uptick in form at home against Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion traveling to the KC Stadium to take on Hull City, and Queens Park Rangers challenging fellow league newcomers Burnley. The day's action will finish up with second-place Manchester City hosting Everton.
For my fantasy team, I settled on the following:
Thibaut Courtois, Branislav Ivanović, Jores Okore, Richard Dunne, Aaron Cresswell, Joey Barton, Ryan Mason, Stewart Downing, Diego Costa, Sergio Agüero, Christian Benteke
I've also got Charles N'Zogbia and Dusan Tadic on the bench in case any unexpected rotation happens, so I'm pretty happy with the team even though I'm having what has so far been my worst ever season on Yahoo. I hope you're all faring better than I am, and that you have another big week! Be sure to post your teams so we can compare!
If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for an SBNation account and join in the commentary throughout the day!