Chelsea v Sunderland - Tough game against a rejuvenated side!

This afternoon is a must win game for Chelsea and it really is as simple as that. We cannot afford to drop points over the next few weeks a...

This afternoon is a must win game for Chelsea and it really is as simple as that. We cannot afford to drop points over the next few weeks as we need to try and close the gap to the sides above us now in the league.

AVB and his Chelsea players have a job on their hands this afternoon as a rejuvenated Sunderland side under new man-manager Martin O'Neill travel to the Bridge with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is an easy game for Chelsea and a game we should be winning, we are foolish to disregard our opposition, especially now. It pains me to say it and Sunderland fans will take heart from me doing so but do you remember this game last season at the Bridge? We sank to our lowest point of recent times as Sunderland battered us 3-0.

I remember looking at that scoreboard thinking could it get any worse!. That's no disrespect to Sunderland or their fans in any way at all, I am speaking of how bad the situation had become here back then. Sunderland to their credit came here, played their football and 100% deserved to win the game. It's just the images of the scoreboard and Zenden doing that dopey dance in the corner stuck with us all for a long long time.

Who would have thought that just over one year on, everything has changed for both clubs. Torres and Luiz signed in January, we fought back to finish second but Carlo was sacked and Niall Quinn left Sunderland, Steve Bruce struggled after the departure of Gyan for reasons no football fan in the country would ever understand, and he was also sacked!.

AVB is slowly putting his stamp on Chelsea and it's taking some time. We have our struggles again once more but nowhere near the scale of that day last year. Sunderland have handed Martin O'Neill the reigns just before a new transfer window opens and it comes as no surprise that everyone has been given a lift. I read somewhere that before last weeks games, in the games that O'Neill has been in charge, eight different players have got on the score sheet! Now if that's no getting the best out of your players I don't know what is!.

It has all the makings of an interesting game. Like I said, Sunderland have nothing to lose and everything to gain. if they lose the game, no big surprise as the emphasis will be on Chelsea to get three points. Knowing what O'Neill is like, he will be looking for at least a point so Chelsea need to be on their guard. Expect Sunderland to come here, flood the midfield with a big man up front on his own and look to get something from set pieces.

As for Chelsea, Danny Sturridge is back and should start the game up front with Fernando Torres and Juan Mata. It's the movement and inter-play between these guys that is key for us in this one. If they play well, we win.

I would expect our back four to line up as Bosingwa, Luiz, Terry(C) and Cole. No surprise there but with Cahill signing hopefully before the game, could this be the last time these four play together this season?.

As for our midfield, Romeu starts for me with Ramires ahead of him. We simply cannot leave this guy out of the side now as he has been the player of the season so far in my eyes.

Once again though, the question remains as to who starts next to him?. I would go with Frank Lampard today in front of Raul Meireles purely because he has more goals in him. When you take Lampard out of the side, you lose his instincts to get forward. No one else is the same as Frank and it could come down to being a tight game so we would need him to nick us a goal.

For me, this will go one way or the other. It will have plenty of goals in it or there will be a single goal in it. Sunderland fans will bite your hand off right now to nick it 1-0 and take three points home with them and because of where we are in the league now, Chelsea fans will do the same!.

I want to go on record now saying that I don't care how we play today as long as we win. it could be the most boring game of football I have ever seen as long as we nick a goal.

The thing is, sitting in the stand this afternoon, I will have one eye on the benches as we will be watching two of the most active managers, gesticulating on the side lines.

I just wonder who will be celebrating at 5pm!.

Come on Chelsea!


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Post a Comment

  1. We won! Just about, but the result and performance was exactly what you predicted! Torres deserved a goal, he played a blinder!!




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