After an impressive win against Southampton on Sunday evening, Mourinho and the squad quickly change their attention up north, as we pay visit to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday. After two wins in a row in the league, the squad will be looking to make it a hattrick of victories.
Sunderland having won only twice in their last seven matches will be no pushover, mind. Chelsea’s form away from home hasn’t been pleasing the fans – with The Blues picking up only six points in six games on the road. However, the Stadium of Light seems like a good ground for Chelsea, as we have won this fixture for the last eight years in a row.
It will be interesting to see who Jose puts his faith in to start on Wednesday. Demba Ba was showing glimmers of his Newcastle career with an impressive shift in the second half against Southampton, whilst Fernando Torres was threatening the defence on numerous occasions. When they were both playing up top together I thought we looked our most dangerous, which is something we could experiment with. Juan Mata also showed why he should be in the team more regularly, as he created 5 clear cut chances, as well as assisting John Terry’s header to send up 2-1 up.
As for injuries, David Luiz is still out with his knee injury, whilst Samuel Eto’o could play some minutes in the game after recovering from a groin injury, which is good news for those who want to see us play with two strikers again. Oscar is out after having to come off against Southampton with an ankle injury, but it doesn’t seem too serious so expect him back shortly. Marco Van Ginkel is still out.
This could be a very important month for Chelsea. With Sunderland, Stoke and Crystal Palace in the league before the awaited game against Arsenal – so I would be hoping for nine points out of nine. Arsenal on the other hand are playing Hull, Everton and City – and I would be surprised if they get all nine points. If we manage to overtake Arsenal and sit at the top of the table at the New Year that would be great.
Sunderland on the other hand are coming into this game from a 0-0 draw against Aston Villa. It’s been a tricky season for the black cats who have only managed to pick up eight points in the league so far, however Gus Poyet has managed three wins out of three at home since he took over from Paulo Di Canio. Poyet has surely improved the Sunderland team he took over, gaining seven points in six league games. But can he keep Sunderland up? I think it would be tricky, but a win against Chelsea could get them going – especially after beating Man City a few weeks back.
John O’Shea will be assessed before the game after suffering from a muscle injury against Villa at the weekend, whilst Adam Johnson, Jozy Altidore and Jack Colback could earn recalls if Poyet decides to rotate the squad a bit.
All in all, I think we should easily win this game. Sunderland seem to be going down in my opinion, and we should be walking all over teams like them with the side we have. I hope to see Juan Mata start again, and the Torres and Demba Ba partnership interests me – so I would like to see it at some point during the game if needs be. All though Ashley Cole hadn’t been playing well leading up to Jose dropping him but I think he deserves to play to prove he still has something in him. My prediction for this game is a comfortable 2-0 win to Chelsea.
Lastly, well done to any Chelsea fans making the 280-odd mile trip on a cold Wednesday night. Our away support has been top notch all season,.