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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.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Chelsea

Sunderland

Wins
2
1
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
Draw
Sunderland AFC SUN
Sunderland AFC Sunderland
85%

Top 3 Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
3 - 0
Sunderland AFC SUN
Chelsea FC CHE
2 - 0
Sunderland AFC SUN
Chelsea FC CHE
3 - 1
Sunderland AFC SUN

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