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Barclays Premier League

Stamford Bridge (ATT 41,210) 19th April 2014 - Kick off 17:30

Chelsea Chelsea vs Sunderland S'land

Chelsea 1

S Eto'o (12)

ft

S'land 2

C Wickham (18)
F Borini (pen 82)

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Premier League preview: Chelsea host Sunderland at Stamford Bridge

Last Updated: 22/04/14 8:11pm

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Jose Mourinho: Aiming to keep blemish-free record at Stamford Bridge intact as Chelsea hunt down Liverpool

Jose Mourinho: Aiming to keep blemish-free record at Stamford Bridge intact as Chelsea hunt down Liverpool

Chelsea could return to the Premier League summit and thwart Sunderland's bid to avoid relegation when they meet at Stamford Bridge in Saturday Night Football.

Jose Mourinho's side remain within striking distance of Liverpool at the head of the table following their 1-0 victory over Swansea last Sunday, courtesy of Demba Ba's second goal in as many games.

Since losing to Crystal Palace, Chelsea have gone on to record back-to-back top-flight victories to remain within two points of the league leaders.

The Blues face a potential Premier League-deciding trip to Anfield next weekend and can ill-afford a slip-up against foot-of-the-table Sunderland.

Despite vehemently ruling his side out of the title race, the equation is simple for Mourinho; win all their remaining fixtures and Chelsea will be Premier League champions.

Former Chelsea playmaker Gus Poyet, now Black Cats manager, can expect no aid from his old employers, who are unbeaten in 77 home games under Mourinho.

However, the hosts will be wary of the threat posed by Sunderland, who snatched an unlikely against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in midweek.

A Connor Wickham brace gave the Black Cats the advantage at Eastlands after Fernandinho's early strike, but a late Samir Nasri equaliser ensured the spoils were shared and left Sunderland six points adrift of safety.

Although they managed to stun City during the week, Sunderland's form has been wretched of late, losing seven of their last eight prior to their visit to Manchester.

With Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford their next away destinations, Poyet will be desperate for a turnaround to avoid the drop.

Paul Merson's predictions

I think it's a big advantage for Chelsea playing first. If Chelsea win they go top which is a psychological blow to Liverpool. Sunderland have to win, a draw isn't any good. They're a bag of Revels. One minute they're alright - they were unlucky at Man City - then you watch them at Tottenham. They're not going to Chelsea and scoring two goals.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0

Chelsea Badge Chelsea

Chelsea manager Mourinho will be without Eden Hazard for Saturday's clash with Sunderland and the Belgium playmaker remains a doubt for the Champions League trip to face Atletico Madrid.

It is unclear, though, whether Ba will be given the chance to build on his two match-winning goals, or be rested for the trip to Spain, with Samuel Eto'o, who has been preferred in home games this term, recalled.

Due to Branislav Ivanovic's continental suspension, Ashley Cole will be required against Atletico and Mourinho may see the visit of Sunderland as an opportunity to give the out-of-favour left-back a run out.

S'land Badge S'land

Sunderland boss Poyet has suspensions and injuries to contend with ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge.

First-team regular Phil Bardsley continues to serve a ban and so Santiago Vergini will be retained at right-back, should Carlos Cuellar not pass a late fitness test on a muscle strain.

Ki Sung-Yueng, Steven Fletcher and Keiren Westwood remain sidelined so Jack Colback, who along with Bardsley has been tipped to leave the Stadium of Light in the summer, should start again in midfield.

Previous game's starting line-ups

4-2-3-1
  • Courtois 13 Courtois
  • Ivanovic 2 Ivanovic
  • Cahill 24 Cahill
  • Terry 26 Terry
  • Filipe Luis 3 Filipe Luis
  • Ramires 7 Ramires

  • Matic 21 Matic
  • Willian 22 Willian

  • Fabregas 4 Fabregas
  • Hazard E 10 Hazard E
  • Costa 19 Costa

Team taken from Chelsea vs Hull City (Barclays Premier League) on Sunday 22nd March 2015

4-3-3
  • Pantilimon 1 Pantilimon
  • Reveillere 15 Reveillere
  • O'Shea 16 O'Shea
  • Brown 5 Brown

  • van Aanholt 3 van Aanholt
  • Gomez 14 Gomez
  • Larsson 7 Larsson
  • Rodwell 8 Rodwell
  • Fletcher 9 Fletcher

  • Defoe 28 Defoe

  • Wickham 10 Wickham

Team taken from Sunderland vs West Ham United (Barclays Premier League) on Saturday 21st March 2015


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Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 29 67
2 Manchester City 30 61
3 Arsenal 30 60
4 Manchester United 30 59
5 Liverpool 30 54
6 Southampton 30 53
7 Tottenham Hotspur 30 53
8 Swansea City 30 43
9 West Ham United 30 42
10 Stoke City 30 42
11 Crystal Palace 30 36
12 Newcastle United 30 35
13 Everton 30 34
14 West Bromwich Albion 30 33
15 Hull City 30 28
16 Aston Villa 30 28
17 Sunderland 30 26
18 Burnley 30 25
19 Queens Park Rangers 30 22
20 Leicester City 29 19

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