It is a battle between two sides struggling in the English Premier League, as Chelsea host Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening. The match is scheduled to kick off at 15:00 GMT on 19th December 2015.
Three points separate Chelsea from Sunderland who are 16 and 19 in the table respectively. The Blues have dealt with another blow as the board has decided to part ways with their most successful manager Jose Mourinho on Thursday evening. Steve Holland is set to take control of the team that is just one point clear off the bottom three and failing this win this match may well see them drop into the relegation zone.
Sunderland have shown signs of recovery under Sam Allardyce and have notched up two back-to-back wins in November, before falling to two consecutive defeats this month.
Head to Head – Chelsea vs Sunderland
In the last five meetings between the two sides, Chelsea had 3 won out of them. But while playing at Stamford Bridge, Sunderland have their fair share of success as they have beaten Chelsea twice in the last 5 visits.
Team Form Comparison – Chelsea vs Sunderland
The Blues are struggling on all fronts lately and they have managed only one win in the last five premier league games. Their overall home record this season is 3 wins, 4 loss and 1 draw.
Chelsea defensive problems are significantly highlighted in the media in recent weeks. But, on the contrary, the team has not let more than one goal in the last 8 competitive outings since the 3-1 home loss against Liverpool in October. Rather, they have struggled are upfront and scored only twice in the last five league matches.
Sunderland are starting this match at 19th in the table and has managed 2 wins in their last 5 matches, while there have been one draw and two loss.
The biggest worry for Big Sam going into this match will be their record away from home this season which reads a poor 1 win, 1 draw and 7 loss in the 8 matches this season. The Black Cats conceded heavily while playing away from home after having let in 21 goals this season making them the worst away side in the league this season.
Chelsea – Team News
Eden Hazard is doubtful for the Blues after taken off the field in Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester with a hip injury. Gary Cahil could come back into the line-up to partner Kurt Zouma at the expense of Captain John Terry.
Loic Remy is pushing for a start ahead of Diego Costa, after coming off the bench to score against Leicester.
Chelsea – Predicted Line-up
Sunderland – Team News
Sunderland could revert back to their 4-2-3-1 formation as they look to heap further misery on Chelsea. Jeremain Lens who has fallen out of the pecking order under Sam Allardyce could be forced to start from the bench once again. Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Coates are doubtful, while Youness Kaboul who missed the last game through illness is expected to start.
Sunderland – Predicted Line-up
Chelsea vs Sunderland – Prediction
The Chelsea squad can boast of quality players as compared against Sunderland squad. But just as Mourinho commented hours before getting sacked, “Chelsea players are at same level as Sunderland”, there is nothing to separate them on paper judging by their current form.
While Sam Allardyce and his players are accustomed to life at the bottom half of the table, while Chelsea have succumbed from top to bottom, which had taken a huge toll on their confidence.
Sunderland may be coming to this game with confidence, despite both teams having similar issues in all departments of the game. I can see this going down as a draw, unless there is a moment of brilliance from Willian to bail them out once again.