If Chelsea fail to secure victory against Sunderland this would ensure the Spaniard receives an unwelcome place in the record books of being the only manager at the club’s helm to have failed to win in his first four games as boss.
The Blues however, will be confident having won 14 of their last 15 against Sunderland, while the signs do not look good for the Black Cats with O’ Neill’s men securing just two wins in their last 22 Premier League fixtures.
O’ Neill is likely to set his attack up with Sessegnon just behind Steven Fletcher reiterating in the press this week that it is important his front men are firing.
O’Shea and Fletcher are both expected to be fit for the fixture after suffering knocks last time out against Norwich.
Benitez is hoping that he will be boosted by the returns of both Frank Lampard and John Terry for the first time in his managerial reign.
He said he was looking forward to welcoming back their experience into the team stating: “They are experienced players, they’ve won the Champions League and a lot of trophies but they have to show that character and they need confidence to do that.
“Some players might show character but if one or two are not at that level, the whole team suffers. That is what happened in the second half at West Ham.”
Daniel Sturridge also looks set to make the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury he has been suffering from for the last two weeks.