CHELSEA v Sunderland: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 19 December
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

So much to say yet so little motivation to say it as we go into what should have been a straight forward game for us at home to Sunderland. We’re Premier League champions, Sunderland are sitting in the relegation places and this fixture last season ended in a 3-1 win. Things at Chelsea are anything but straight forward though, we’re 16th in the table, manager-less and playing like the Dog & Duck after a night on the lash.
Whether our players come out all guns blazing now, or opt for the victim role, it’s fair to say they’re unlikely to be feeling the Stamford Bridge love either way. Make no mistake though, Sunderland will come with the intention of doing what most other teams have this season – going away with points in the bag. It’s going to be a difficult but interesting one to watch.

Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager…..oh. Let’s just park that there.
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce though, says “I’m not sure whether it’ll make my job harder or not to be honest. Everybody expects a reaction when a manager gets sacked, and sometimes there is and sometimes there isn’t. It’s fair to say that if we were to win, it would put a huge amount of pressure on Chelsea because we’d end up on 15 points, the same as they are.”

For Chelsea, Falcao remains missing but we can probably put money on the magic sponge having healed Eden Hazard in the past 48 hours after he was suddenly struck lame on Monday night and the rest of them will no doubt be desperate to play as well.
For Sunderland, Lee Cattermole (back) and Sebastian Larsson (knee) are injured, Sebastian Coates (flu) is a doubt but Younes Kaboul is expected to be fit.

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, JT, Zouma; Willian, Ramires, Hazard, Matic, Fabregas; Costa
SUNDERLAND (Possible line-up): Pantilimon; O’Shea, Yedlin, Jones, van Aanholt, Kaboul; Watmore, Borini, M’Vila, Toivonen; Fletcher

Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland (24th May 2015)

Chelsea: LLWDLL

~ Chelsea have won 18 of their last 21 Premier League games against Sunderland
~ Sunderland have won two of their last five trips to Chelsea.
~ Chelsea have taken just four points from the last 21 available
~ Chelsea have lost nine of their 16 league games
~ Chelsea have 15 points from their opening 16 Premier League games.
~ Chelsea had 39 points at this stage last season.
~ Sunderland’s only away win this season was at Crystal Palace last month.
~ No club has conceded more away goals than the 21 let in by Sunderland, although Chelsea are trying their hardest to take that record off them
~ Sunderland have allowed their opponents a league-high 99 shots on target.

Under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea beat Sunderland 3-1 on the final day last season. Mind you, last season Jose Mourinho, led Chelsea to another Premier League title. Obviously this season is a different ball game, with the ‘precious ones’ failing to keep their dummies in their mouths and as a direct result of that petulance, we go into this game 16th in the table and manager-less. On past history, you’d assume then that we’ll start playing now and Sunderland are in for the backlash – except this is a different group of players spitting dummies and I’m not so sure they’ve got the stomach to fight their way out of the trouble they’ve got themselves into. More than a point today would be a surprise.


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