Demba Ba returns to Newcastle for the first time on Sunday since joining Chelsea in January
Indeed, they may have lost leading goal scorer Demba Ba to the Blues earlier this month, but the Magpies were busy themselves in the January transfer window. Looking to move clear of a relegation scrap, Newcastle brought in the likes of Mathieu Debuchy, Moussa Sissoko and striker Yoan Gouffran to bolster their squad.
The big story, though, is Ba's return to St. James' Park.
All eyes will be on the Senegalese striker as he lines up against his former teammates for the first time since his move south to Chelsea, but will he return to haunt them?
Both Newcastle and Chelsea are desperate for points for a host of reasons, and given the Blues' unconvincing performances of late—they're without a win in their last three matches—Alan Pardew will be hopeful his team can capitalise.
Bleacher Report takes a look at the key battles in this perfectly poised Premier League encounter.
Ashley Cole remains one of the world's leading defenders
Ashley Cole may have been complaining about the movement of Chelsea's attackers in the 2-2 draw with Brentford last weekend (as reported by David Kent in the Daily Mail), but the left-back will have bigger things on his mind when he comes up against Yoan Gouffran on Sunday.
Newcastle bought the French ace for a reported cut-price £1.2 million from Bordeaux in January. He can play directly through the middle as a striker, but with Papiss Cisse the main man at Newcastle these days, he made his debut on the right wing for the Magpies against Villa in midweek.
Should Alan Pardew opt to repeat those tactics, Cole could be in for a busy afternoon. The French ace is as quick as they come, and he impressed against Villa, being involved in much of Newcastle's attacking play.
But Cole is regarded as the world's best left-back for a reason, and he's held his own throughout a glittering career against some of football's finest wingers.
Will it be pietre or tres bien for Gouffran?
Can Davide Santon ensure Oscar has a quiet afternoon?
The absence of Victor Moses at the Africa Cup of Nations has certainly helped Oscar in recent weeks.
Against Brentford in the FA Cup he was one of Chelsea's better players in a poor team performance, while he put in a good display against Reading despite the Blues conceding two late goals to draw 2-2.
Playing more games has seen the Brazilian show signs that he is returning to his best after a patchy spell of form since early December. It's good news for Chelsea, but not such good news for their opponents.
In truth, such is the level of rotation between Chelsea's three attacking midfielders, Davide Santon will come up against the likes of Juan Mata and Oscar at different stages throughout Sunday's game, but with Mata preferring a more central role, it will be Oscar giving Santon the odd headache out wide.
The Italian is an accomplished defender, but if Oscar can expose him, he will get plenty of joy down the flanks, and it's an area Chelsea should look to exploit.
Frank Lampard has been in good goalscoring form of late
On Sunday Frank Lampard and Yohan Cabaye will come face-to-face at St. James' Park as two of the Premier League's in-form midfielders.
Lampard scored his 196th goal in Chelsea colors in the midweek draw with Reading, while Frenchman Cabaye looks a man revitalized, scoring two goals in as many matches since his return from injury.
It's going to be a fascinating contest as the pair tussle in midfield, attempting to null the threat of the other, but also looking to act upon their attacking instincts.
In Cabaye's absence, the Magpies have struggled this term, and his return has seen them start to put together the sort of performances that saw them finish fifth last season. It'll be a different challenge altogether against Chelsea, though, and in Lampard the Blues have a man possessed as he plays out the final months of his contract, looking to cement his legend.
This battle for midfield supremacy will decide the outcome of this fixture.
Papiss Cisse (centre) is congratulated after his goal against Aston Villa in midweek
Both were fighting for games and supremacy at Newcastle United just a few short weeks ago but come Sunday, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba will find themselves in a different battle—that for much needed Premier League points.
Since Ba's move to Chelsea, Cisse has been the main striker at Newcastle, and although it's early days, he seems to have slotted back into the lone striker role with ease. He opened the scoring in midweek against Aston Villa and after a mixed season by his own high standards, he's looking sharp in front of goal.
Ba, on the other hand, has continued very much where he left off at Newcastle. He already has three goals to his name at Chelsea, becoming an instant hero at Stamford Bridge.
It's a bit too recent since his move to expect Ba's return to be welcomed with applause on Tyneside, so a fiery atmosphere is in waiting for the Senegalese man. But as tends to be the case so much of the time when a striker returns to his former club, don't bet against Ba grabbing the winner to haunt his former employers.