Chelsea v Sunderland: Three points no matter what today please!

Chelsea take on Sunderland this afternoon without Michael Essien and Frank Lampard which are massive losses in anyone's book today. Th...

Chelsea v Fulham, Premier League 10/11/2010 A Chelsea football club flag being waved prior to kick off at Stamford Bridge  Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Chelsea take on Sunderland this afternoon without Michael Essien and Frank Lampard which are massive losses in anyone's book today. The important thing for Chelsea is our back five, set to make a record today if they keep a clean sheet of 10 successive home games, should remain unchanged today from midweek against Fulham and will give our midfield a base to start from.

We are waiting to hear if Alex will be available today, I haven't read or heard anything to say he will be, so expect Carlo to stick with Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry and Cole at the back.

Its our midfield that has been hit hard by news of Essien and Lampard. Carlo has three options for me today against Sunderland. He can stick with, Zhirkov, Mikel and Ramires to start with today. Or, he can slot Malouda into the midfield next to Mikel and Ramires and stick with Kalou up front next to Drogba and the returning Anelka. Or he can bring in young Josh McEachran for a start today next to Zhirkov and Mikel.

Chelsea v Fulham, Premier League 10/11/2010 Branislav Ivanovic (L) of Chelsea & John Obi Mikel (R) of Chelsea look on after a clash with Moussa Dembele (C) of Fulham Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

The good thing about our squad is that we have options. We need to get our midfield right today and I believe he will stick with the first option I have mentioned as the threat of the left-footed Cole, Zhirkov and Malouda will prove to be key today.

Anelka coming back is good news and could be hard on Kalou who played well the other night outside the box, just inside couldn't hit the target on numerous occasions. Like I say, I expect the normal front three of Malouda, Drogba and Anelka to start today. I believe Carlo will go with these three up from due to the lack of Essien and Lampard from midfield today.

It's funny though isn't it, we have always had a strong midfield for as long as I can remember. Always had a real depth to it. That's no disrespect to Zhikov and Ramires but today our defence and forward line is our strength. We just need to ensure we are strong at the back and in attack and we can still get the job done today.

Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland, Premier League 9/11/2010 Asamoah Gyan of Sunderland celebrates scoring the equaliser 1-1  Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Sunderland are a threat today and a dangerous side to play. I think ever since the days of Kevin Phillips they have been crying out for an out and out finisher, a goal scorer and now they have that man in Asamoah Gyan. Darren Bent is not available today and has been a good signing but this guy Gyan, has already proven he can score goals and I have no doubt that Chelsea's back four need to be aware of the danger he poses today.

Steve Bruce's sides always give their all for their manager and will work hard all game. The young Henderson is making all the headlines for the right reasons, and bearing in mind Chelsea have been linked to him, will want to show us what he can do.

Bruce's side went to Spurs in the week and were impressive at the back. With two new signings in Bramble and Onuoha next to Michael Turner they have plenty of muscle to look to deal with Drogba and Anelka. Its important Chelsea play with a high tempo today and look to play people in down the channels and between defenders.

Kieron Richardson, Bolo Zenden and Cattermole will look to fight for every ball, close Chelsea down and make it hard work for us today and with the ball will look to break quickly on the counter attack. They will be looking to get the ball in the box as quickly as possible to Gyan and we need to stop that happening today.

Chelsea need a win today no matter how it comes today. Expect Sunderland to be tight at the back and not allow Chelsea any space. The longer the game goes on, the more Chelsea's possession should make a difference and we should be able to open them up. It could be McEachran's time to shine.

With United and City dropping points and Arsenal travelling to Everton, three points could be huge today. Like I say, it may take time but Chelsea need to win the game.

Stamford Bridge Chelsea v Spartak Champions League Group F 03/10/2010 (Chelsea) (Spartak) Photo: Roger Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

What are the odds on McEachran having something to do with the winning goal? A killer pass to Drogba or Anelka? Let's hope so.

So come on Chelsea, play your football, don't get frustrated and to the likes of JT, Ivanovic, Mikel, Malouda, Drogba and Anelka, we need you today more than ever.

Let's get the job done and go six clear at the top of the Premier League!

Come on Chelsea!


Chelsea fans! Why not go and try the brand new Indian Restaurant in Fulham Broadway The MASALA ZONE before or after the game tonight.

Why not grab a Curry, Rice and a beer for just £12!!

The Masala Zone has been awarded the following accreditations:

Best Restaurateur of the Year - Tatler Award
Amaya: Best Restaurant & Best New Restaurant - London Restaurant Awards
Chutney Mary: Best Indian Restaurant - London Restaurant Award
Veeraswamy: Britain's Oldest Indian Restaurant - Established 1926
Masala Zone: "10/10 for food, service & value for money" The Guardian

So if you need food before or after the game then why not head to The Masala Zone (opposite Barclays Bank) and please mention you have seen this advert on my website "Chelseadaft" for me when you go in

The Masala Zone - Real Indian Food!


Follow me on Twitter @chelseadaft

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