On Wednesday, Chelsea will travel to the Stadium of Light, with hopes of extending their current win streak to 10 straight matches.
Standing in their way will be David Moyes’s Sunderland, who currently sit on the bottom of the table, a point off 19th and 18th and 2 points from safety.
Led by Jermain Defoe, the Black Cats will seek to do what much of the Premier League has struggled with over the past few months, and try to stop the Blues.
Defoe has 8 goals in 15 matches, but the focus will hardly fall on the Englishman.
Odds are against Chelsea’s high-flying offense, Moyes will attempt to do what West Brom did for 70 minutes and stack the midfield and defense with a minimum of 8 behind the ball.
Chelsea will likely face their former defender Papy Didjibodji, who took on a minimal role during his time with the Blues, failing to make an impact under Mourinho, before spending the second half of last season on loan.
Sunderland come into the match after suffering a bitter 3-0 defeat at hands of relegation rivals, Swansea City.
Conversely, Chelsea are coming off of a 1-0 victory by the tightest of margins against West Brom.
The win showed their character and tenacity to win, despite the difficultly that West Brom gave the Blues.
Their banks of defenders made it difficult for players like Costa and Hazard to replicate form that we’ve seen from them.
Costa’s moment of brilliance was less about skill and more about graft, winning the ball off a defender and rocketing the ball into the upper netting.
A win like that solidified that the Blues will be ready to fight, no matter the conditions they face.
Sunderland will have their hands full stopping creative talents like Hazard and Costa, never mind having the ability to get at Chelsea’s famed back 3, which has only conceded 2 goals in the last 9 matches.
With all eyes on Arsenal taking on Everton on Tuesday, Wednesday should see Chelsea remain on top of the summit in the Premier League.