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Premier League

  • 7 April 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 41500
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Chelsea - Sunderland Preview: Di Canio's Black Cats reign begins at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea - Sunderland Preview: Di Canio's Black Cats reign begins at Stamford Bridge

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The Blues need a victory as they push for a top-four spot, while the Wearside outfit will be keen for a result as they aim to preserve their top-flight status under their new boss

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

CHELSEA
Chelsea FC
Cech
Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Bertrand
Ramires, Mikel
Hazard, Oscar, Mata
Ba

SUNDERLAND
  Sunderland
Mignolet
Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Rose
Johnson, N'Diaye, Larsson, McClean
Sessegnon
Graham


Blues boss Rafael Benitez is poised to make a host of changes from the starting XI which beat Rubin Kazan 3-1 in the Europa League on Thursday. Defensive duo Gary Cahill (knee) and Ashley Cole (hamstring) both remain sidelined.

John Obi Mikel, Eden Hazard and Oscar could all be recalled, while Demba Ba may replace Fernando Torres up front, despite the Spaniard scoring against the Russian side. Long-term injury absentee Oriol Romeu (knee) remains out injured.

As for the Black Cats, Paulo Di Canio will be without influential duo Lee Cattermole (knee) and Steven Fletcher (ankle) for the remainder of the season. Sebastian Larsson is likely to be handed a starting berth.

Upfront, Connor Wickham is pushing Danny Graham for a starting spot. However, defensive pair Wes Brown (knee) and Carlos Cuellar (ankle) are both still unavailable.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • Chelsea have the joint-second best goalscoring record in the Premier League this season alongside Liverpool and Arsenal with 59 goals each. Only Manchester United (70) have netted more.
  • Sunderland have only taken two points from their last six league matches - a 2-2 draw against Fulham and a 1-1 draw against Norwich.
  • Paolo Di Canio was named 2012's LMA League Two Manager of the Year during his spell in charge of Swindon Town.
  • Chelsea won the earlier meeting in the season between the two sides 3-1. A brace from Fernando Torres and a goal from Mata put them into a three-goal lead, before Adam Johnson scored.
  • Black Cats midfielder Craig Gardner has received the joint-most yellow cards in the league so far this season alongside Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Aston Villa’s Matthew Lowton. All three players have been booked nine times.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
23David LuizDefender
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
-Ryan BertrandDefender
7RamiresMidfielder
11OscarMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
8Juan MataStriker
9Demba BaStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
26John TerryDefender
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
8Frank LampardMidfielder
21Marko MarinMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
22Simon MignoletGoalkeeper
2Phil BardsleyDefender
3Danny RoseMidfielder
27Matthew Kilgallon Defender
16John O'SheaDefender
4Alfred N'diayeMidfielder
7Sebastian LarssonMidfielder
8Craig GardnerMidfielder
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
28Stéphane SessegnonMidfielder
10Connor WickhamStriker
20Keiren WestwoodGoalkeeper
5Kader ManganeDefender
14Jack ColbackMidfielder
-James McCleanMidfielder
9Danny GrahamStriker
-Mikael MandronStriker
-Jordan LaidlerStriker

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