This will be the first game Chelsea will have played in over two years without Ray Wilkins sitting in the dugout. Considering the credit the former England skipper has received for Chelsea’s successes since he began working at Stamford Bridge, the effect his mysterious departure will have on this Chelsea squad could be interesting.
On the pitch Sunderland have provided big headaches to every one of the bigger sides that they have faced so far this season, their most recent tussle resulted in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Tuesday night.
Chelsea are often imperious at home but haven’t hit their straps in the league for over a month now. Without the suspended Michael Essien and with doubts over the general fitness of both of Chelsea’s only out and out strikers, there could be a serious lack of attacking prowess on Sunday. Even so it is hard to look anywhere else but a home win.