Chelsea vs. Sunderland Preview

Barclays Premier League

Published: 08/01/2012

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill will put his excellent start as Black Cats boss on the line when his side visit Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League on January 14.

And the Blues will certainly not be taking their in form visitors lightly, especially considering their own contrasting run of results in recent weeks.

Veteran Frank Lampard got Andre Villas Boas and his side well and truly out of jail away at Wolves on New Year’s Day in what was a must win game following a Christmas full of dropped points and disappointment.

That last gasp win hauled Chelsea back into the Premier League top four and crucially back in pole position for a Champions League finish leading into this round of fixtures.

Sunderland were in real danger of slumping into a relegation dogfight prior to the festive period, that was until the experienced O’Neill took over the reins at the Stadium of Light and instantly made an impact.

Six games on since O’Neill took over at the helm and Sunderland are now in the top half of the table after racking up an impressive thirteen points which included the magnificent scalp of league leaders Manchester City.

Andre Villas Boas will now be looking for the same kind of consistency from his team who have suffered massively this campaign after failing to retain any real momentum.

Five defeats prior to the New Year only really told half of the story for the Blues who have been aimless, uninspiring and ineffective on the main since the season kicked off in August.

And although their ageing squad still clearly possesses a great deal of ability and class, they could be vulnerable yet again in this fixture to a Sunderland side who in O’Neill’s words ‘feel unbeatable at the moment’.

The visitors superb 1-0 win at home to City has quite understandably installed a degree of invincibility in the sunderland dressing room and they are likely to fancy their chances of causing another upset against a vulnerable Chelsea side who will be feeling a great deal of pressure from their expectant home supporters.

The pressure may also be winging its way in from the chairman’s office and mega rich supremo Roman Abramovich is surely going to demand an instant upturn in fortunes if Chelsea’s season is to be saved.

Chelsea’s odds of 4/11 are a major put off in this match and cannot be taken with any confidence whatsoever on current form alone.

Stamford Bridge is quite evidently no longer the daunting fortress it once was and it would be no surprise to see Sunderland pull off another positive result as they continue to ride on the crest of a wave.

The Black Cats 0-3 success at the Bridge in 2010 will also still be fresh in the memory – and whilst a repeat of that freak score-line looks unlikely, the away side double chance at 2/1 looks a no brainer.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (08/01/2012) but are subject to change.

08/01/2012     © Frixo 2018

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