John Terry and Frank Lampard are both restricted to a place on the bench while Paolo Di Canio hands 20-year-old striker Connor Wickham a start ahead of Danny Graham
Demba Ba starts in attack for the Blues, while Branislav Ivanovic is paired with David Luiz in defence and Ramires combines with John Obi Mikel in central midfield.
The familiar trio of Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard will operate behind Ba, while Ryan Bertrand starts at left-back in the absence of the injured Ashley Cole.
Di Canio hands 20-year-old Connor Wickham the lone striking role ahead of January signing Danny Graham, with top scorer Steven Fletcher absent until the end of the season due to injury.
Sebastian Larsson returns to the Black Cats XI ahead of James McClean, while Matthew Kilgallon partners John O'Shea in defence. Titus Bramble, who played against Manchester United, is missing from the squad.
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Bertrand; Ramires, Mikel; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Ba.
Subs: Turnbull , Ferreira, Terry, Lampard, Marin, Benayoun, Torres.
Sunderland: Mignolet; Bardsley, O’Shea, Kilgallon, Rose; Larsson, N’Diaye, Gardner, Johnson; Sessegnon; Wickham.
Subs: Westwood, Graham, Colback, McClean, Mangane, Mandron, Laidler.