Sunderland continue their fight to avoid relegation when they host a lacklustre Chelsea team at the Stadium of Light on Saturday evening.
The Black Cats are coming on the back of consecutive draws, but they needed an injury time penalty goal from Jermaine Defoe to draw 1-1 at Stoke City last weekend. Sunderland had become draw specialists in the Premier League as they have drawn 6 of their last 8 matches, with 1 win and 1 loss. They are currently 18th in the league table with 32 points and a win here may help them get out of the relegation zone if both Norwich and Newcastle fail to win their respective matches.
Chelsea are 9th in the standings with 48 points and are not expected to climb any further. They did brilliantly well come back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Tottenham on Monday and they will be looking forward to carry the momentum. Chelsea’s away form is pretty good as they had won 6 of their last 8 matches, with 1 draw and a loss.
Sunderland: Team News
Sam Allardyce has a fully fit squad at his disposal and he is expected to retain the starting line-up that helped them get a point at Stoke last weekend.
Sunderland: predicted Line-up (4-1-4-1)
Mannone – Yedlin, Kone, Kaboul, Aanholt – Kirchoff – Borini, Cattermole, M’Villa, Khazri – Defoe.
Chelsea: Team News
Both John Terry and Gary Cahill are close to full fitness and are expected to start here, while Thibaut Courtois returns after serving his suspension.
Guss Hiddink is very likely to rotate his squad and the likes of Loftus-Cheek and Baba Rahman could get a run here.
Chelsea: Predicted Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Courtois – Rahman, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta – Matic, Fabregas – Oscar, Pedro, Loftus-Cheek – Costa.
Sunderland vs Chelsea: Head-to-Head Stats
Chelsea are on a three match unbeaten run against Sunderland and the Blues had won in their last two meetings by a same 3-1 margin, with both meetings coming at the Stamford Bridge.
Sunderland haven’t won a single match at home in the last 11 Premier League meetings, since their 1-0 on October 2010. Chelsea had won in 9 and drawn in 2 during the period.
Sunderland vs Chelsea: Prediction
Sunderland will be desperate to win here and will look to play much more expansive attacking game. All three points is vital for them in the bid to stay up in the Premier League next season. While Chelsea have nothing to play for and will be much relaxed.
Sunderland had drawn majority of the matches in recent weeks, while Chelsea made a habit of winning consistently in away games.
The Blues scored 4 goals each in their last two away wins against Aston Villa and Bournemouth, but they lost 1-0 at Swansea in between. While Sunderland haven’t scored in their last three away games, despite drawing in 2 and losing 2-0 to Leicester City.
Judging by the stats, Chelsea are outright favourites to win this and Sunderland must do extremely well if they are to snatch a point out of this game. Also the Blues are very likely to keep a clean sheet here.
Best Bet: Chelsea win at Full Time.