Sunderland vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score

By on December 17, 2013

Stadium of Light

Chelsea take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light this evening with a place in the semi-final’s of the Capital One Cup awaiting the victors.

The last time these two sides met was just two weeks ago when the Blues ran out 4-3 winners in a seven-goal thriller, so the Black Cats will be out for revenge tonight.

The hosts head into the game sitting bottom of the Premier League table and a full five points from safety, so Gus Poyet will be hoping a win over his former side in the Cup will give his players a much-needed confidence boost to aid their survival bid.

Sunderland have beaten MK Dons, Peterborough and Southampton en route to the quarter finals but will face a sterner test against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea this evening.

The Portuguese coach has an excellent record in the League Cup, winning the competition twice in three years during his first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge, and he’ll be hoping to go one step closer to lifting it again with a win on Wearside.

Chelsea are third in the league following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace and eased past Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates to reach this stage of the competition.

Team News

Sunderland will once again be without midfielder Jack Colback, who has failed to recover from sickness that kept him out of Saturday’s draw with West Ham.

Gus Poyet is expected to stick with a strong line-up for the game as he looks to build some momentum, and the only other players unavailable are goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and defender Carlos Cuellar.

Jose Mourinho on the other hand is expected to reshuffle his pack ahead of Monday’s crucial top-of-the-table clash with Arsenal at the Emirates.

Branislav Ivanovic is suspended so Cesar Azpilicueta will switch to right-back, and Ashley Cole will return to start at left-back.

John Terry is likely to be given a breather so Gary Cahill may return in defence to play alongside David Luiz. Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba are battling it out to replace Fernando Torres up front, while the likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard may be rested after starting at the weekend.

Ryan Bertrand and midfielder Marco van Ginkel are Mourinho’s only injury concerns.

Likely Line-Ups

Key Man

Oscar: With Hazard and Mata likely to be rested, the creative responsibility will fall on Brazilian playmaker Oscar. Sunderland will have to stop him playing if they are to have any chance of winning the game.

Predicted Score

Sunderland 0-2 Chelsea: Despite making several changes, we expect the Blues to have too much for Sunderland to handle.

What would be your team and whats your predicted score? Share your views below.

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    Chelsea 3 – 1 sunderland

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