After a startlingly wonderful second half display, led by the rejuvenated Eden Hazard, against rivals Tottenham on Monday night, a game in which ended Tottenham’s title chances, Chelsea face a trip up North to face Sunderland as the season’s end looms.
Sunderland are in a fight for their lives, with rivals Norwich and Newcastle set to face Manchester United and Aston Villa respectively. With Newcastle expected to beat the already relegated Aston Villa, Sunderland cannot afford to take anything over than 3 points away with them on Saturday.
All Chelsea players are available for selection apart from the long term injured Kurt Zouma and Loic Remy. There’s a chance Guus Hiddink will let players who haven’t played as much recently start the game.
Full back Billy Jones (hip injury) could be unavailable for selection.
- Chelsea have won 19 and lost just two of their last 22 Premier League games against Sunderland.
- Sunderland have failed to score in their last three Premier League games at home. Only once in Premier League history have they gone four on home soil without finding the net, back in December 2005.
- Former Blues forward Fabio Borini has scored in two of his three Premier League appearances against Chelsea for Sunderland.
- Sam Allardyce’s side have won just one of their last nine league games (D6 L2).
- A league-high 19 different players have scored for Chelsea in the Premier League this season.
What Hiddink says
‘It’s important for ourselves, for our pride and for our enjoyment of football,’ Hiddink began.
‘Second, we want to have the same approach for all the teams who are still fighting to avoid relegation. They deserve the same approach in our seriousness, with no guarantee that we can win, but we will go for the win of course.
‘Given the situation it wouldn’t be fair of us to have a serious approach for the Spurs game and not have a serious approach for the other games.
‘I am not going to change a lot in the team,’ Hiddink added. ‘Before, I made some changes with Academy players, but it would not be fair to do it again to the other teams we are approaching in the last games.
‘You have the obligation as a player to act well. They did that in the previous games against Bournemouth and Tottenham and we are going in to the last three games with the same attitude.’
‘They have to win, and we want to win,’
‘We will give them as much resistance as we have. They are now in the relegation zone which makes it not easy. They have a very experienced manager who will fine-tune the team in the right way I think.’
Chelsea – DWLLWD
02 May 2016 – Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
23 Apr 2016 – AFC Bournemouth 1-4 Chelsea
16 Apr 2016 – Chelsea 0-3 Manchester City
09 Apr 2016- Swansea City 1-0 Chelsea
02 Apr 2016 – Aston Villa 0-4 Chelsea
19 Mar 2016 – Chelsea 2-2 West Ham United
Sunderland – DDWLDD
30 Apr 2016 – Stoke City 1-1 Sunderland
24 Apr 2016 – Sunderland 0-0 Arsenal
16 Apr 2016 – Norwich City 0-3 Sunderland
10 Apr 2016 – Sunderland 0-2 Leicester City
02 Apr 2016 – Sunderland 0-0 West Bromwich Albion
20 Mar 2016 – Newcastle United 0-0 Sunderland
Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian, Hazard, Costa
Mannone, Yedlin, Kone, Kaboul, Van Aanhalot, Kirchoff, M’Vila, Cattermole, Borini, Khazri, Defoe
Kick-off: Saturday 3pm
Venue: Stadium of Light
Last season: Sunderland 0-0 Chelsea
Referee: Mike Jones
Odds: H 9-5 A 7-5 D 5-2