Sunderland vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score
Chelsea are in the north east to take on Sunderland at The Stadium of Light looking to close the gap at the top of the Premier League. Here’s a match preview.
Chelsea are in the north east to take on Sunderland at The Stadium of Light looking to close the gap at the top of the Premier League.
The Blues moved into second in the table with a 3-1 victory over Southampton on Sunday and will be hoping to capitalise on any slip-up by the Gunners to cut their advantage at the top.
Jose Mourinho’s men were forced to come from a goal down against the Saints at the weekend but eventually came away with all three points thanks to three second-half goals from Cahill, Terry and Ba. It made it two wins on the bounce for the west Londoners following victory over West Ham so they should be heading to Wearside in confident mood.
Sunderland go into the clash sitting bottom of the table after Crystal Palace beat West Ham on Tuesday night, so Gus Poyet will be desperate to get a positive result against his former side.
The Black Cats will gain confidence from the fact they’ve won their last two homes games against Newcastle and Manchester City, but will have to improve on their recent record against Chelsea that’s seen them lose 16 of their previous 17 league encounters.
Sunderland have been handed a huge injury boost with the news that defender John O’Shea has been passed fit to play despite picking up a hamstring injury during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Aston Villa.
Goalkeeper Kieran Westwood and defender Carlos Cuellar remain out through injury. Poyet is expected to stick with the majority of the side that played at Villa Park, although Lee Cattermole and Jack Colback are pushing for recalls.
Chelsea will be without the services of midfielder Oscar after he was forced off against Southampton with an ankle injury. He joins fellow Brazilian David Luiz on the sidelines with the defender still out with a knee problem of his own.
Striker Samuel Eto’o is back in the frame after recovering quicker than expected from a groin injury, although Fernando Torres should continue to lead the attack.
Frank Lampard may get a recall in midfield while Ashley Cole could return at left-back after Mourinho confirmed the 32-year-old would feature in one of the next two fixtures.
Eden Hazard: The Belgian has been relatively quiet so far this season but his creativity in the final third is likely to be an important factor in this game. Sunderland will need to stop him if they want to get a positive result.
Sunderland 0-2 Chelsea: The Premier League’s bottom side should be no match for a rejuvenated Chelsea.
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