As we enter into the Christmas period, Premier League games will come thick and fast; and Chelsea make the trip up north on Wednesday for the evening kick-off against struggling Sunderland.
Jose Mourinho’s men made hard work of Southampton last Sunday, with their centre-back duo of Cahill and Terry both netting crucial second half headers in the 3-1 win.
Chelsea fans will undoubtedly give a warm reception to the new Sunderland boss, Gus Poyet, who spent the majority of his playing career with the Blues, and was one of their best players in the pre-Abramovich era.
Possible Chelsea Lineup:
Defence: The big talking point at the back is whether Ashley Cole will regain a starting berth on the left, having missed the last three league games with a rib injury. Right-back Cesar Azpilicueta has performed admirably in the role; but remains somewhat limited on the left side.
Mourinho may give a rest to Branislav Ivanovic, leaving Azpi and Cole to both start the match.
Midfield: Michael Essien was afforded a rare half of Premier League football against Southampton, and will surely make way for Mikel as a form of rotation. Lampard and Ramires should complete the usual midfield triumvirate.
Juan Mata may himself fall victim to the rotation policy, with Willian and Andre Schurlle both pushing for a recall.
Forward: Despite Demba Ba’s heroics at the weekend, I expect Mourinho to keep faith with Fernando Torres. Samuel Eto’o remains side-lined with a leg injury.
Chelsea’s Current Form: WWLDWW
Prediction 0-2: Having overcome a stubborn Saints last time around, Chelsea should have an easier time of it at the Stadium of Light; just so long as they don’t concede in the first 13 seconds again!