Sunderland v Chelsea – Match Preview

Andre Villas-Boas takes his new-look Chelsea outfit to Wearside this weekend with a few new signings on show but the big news is that first-choice keeper Petr Cech could make his return from injury. Both sides will be hoping to kick-start their season with a much needed victory.

Sunderland have made a disappointing start to the season with only two points from three games, not enough for a side who have top 10 ambitions. They have bolstered their below average strikeforce with the signing of Danish international Nicklas Bendtner from Arsenal and he should make his debut on Saturday. Anton Ferdinand has left to join QPR and John O’Shea is still struggling with an injury so Titus Bramble is likely to be drafted back in the centre of defence.

For Chelsea, Branislav Ivanovic started at centre-back alongside Captain John Terry in their last game but it is thought David Luiz may make his first start of the season. Against Norwich, Torres started up front partnered by Dider Drogba but they again failed to gel. Villas-Boas may bring Anelka in for Saturday’s game as it appears Drogba has not fully recovered from the concussion he suffered in their last game. After failing to secure Modric from Spurs, Chelsea managed to snatch Raul Meireles from Liverpool at the eleventh hour and he will add some creativity to their midfield if he is fit enough to feature while Juan Mata is likely to make his first start in Chelsea colours.

If Bendtner can live up to his self-assured attitude for once to add some impetus to the Sunderland attack then the Blacks Cats may stand a chance but if Chelsea play anything like we all know they can I think Chelsea should have a comfortable away win especially if Petr Cech does return in goal at the Stadium of Light.

Key Player

Juan Mata: The Spanish winger, who netted on his debut in Chelsea’s victory over Norwich and also for his country in mid-week, will cause all sorts of problem for the Sunderland rearguard after his brief but productive cameo against Norwich.

Wes Brown: The experienced central defender has a big game on his hands trying to keep the under-pressure Torres quiet, something he has tried and failed to do during his time at Old Trafford.

Verdict: 1-3

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