Chelsea vs Sunderland: Preview

Saturday 3pm, Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 1.36 Draw 4.75 Sunderland 8.50

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All of a sudden the table looks an awful lot better if you’re a Sunderland fan. Martin O’Neil’s arrival at the club seems to have created an enthusiasm that had long since evaporated at Sunderland, and that’s well-documented by the four wins out of seven achieved during O’Neil’s short tenure. In fact, almost 60% of Sunderland’s points this season have come under the Irishman’s watch, despite him only being appointed in December.

For Chelsea, John Terry and Daniel Sturridge(f/g) are fit to start, although Branislav Ivanovic, John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien remain sidelined – Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou are with the Ivory Coast at the ACN.

For the visitors, Nicklas Bendtner(f/g), Connor Wickham(f/g) and Phil Bardsley are all nearing fitness, although Wes Brown, Jack Colback, and Titus Bramble are out. Long-term absentee Fraizer Campbell is available.

Chelsea’s internal issues have been covered to death, and we all know that they’re struggling for consistency. Fernando Torres(f/g) clearly doesn’t offer the same kind of threat posed by Didier Drogba, but I still think through weight of pressure that this is a home win. Sunderland’s resurgence has been remarkable, but also characterised by not being particularly direct in the attacking third. To beat Chelsea at home, you need pace up front, which is not really something they possess at the moment. The visitors will be neat and tidy on the ball, but it’s hard to see them making that much of an impression.

Chelsea to labour, but to ultimately take the points. 2-0.

Posted on January 13, 2012, in Game Preview and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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