For the second time in three seasons, Chelsea are going to lift the Premier League title against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have the title wrapped up, and they’ll finally get their hands on the silverware after this meeting with the already relegated Black Cats. Neither side has much to play for on the final day of the season, but don’t expect the champions to slack off. They can move on to 93 points for the season with a victory over the worst side in the league, which would leave them two shy of the Premier League record.
Chelsea can also become the first side in a 38 game season to claim 30 Premier League victories. They’re massive favourites to take the points in this game, so it seems likely they’ll claim that record. After all, it would ruin the occasion slightly if the title was lifted after slipping up to a side who are on their way down to the Championship. Given the nature of boss Antonio Conte, whatever side he names for this game should be focused on taking the three points. However, just how big a part will the prospect of the cup final play?
Team News: Final Terry run out as he teases retirement
While we expected rotation from Chelsea on Monday night, the whole-sale changes made by Conte were quite surprising. It remains to be seen if that was purely down to the team playing twice in four days, or if the title celebrations took their toll on the first choice players. However, with the FA Cup final just six days away, it’s hard to see the first XI taking the field for this game with little on the line. There are plenty of fringe players who are ready to step up and try to earn their place.
Sunderland have a lengthy injury list, one which has played a big part in their relegation this season. They’ve been without Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore for a lengthy period. Defensive midfielder Jan Kirchoff is unavailable, while forward Victor Anichebe also misses out. One time Chelsea target Steven Pienaar is another name who sits out for the Black Cats this weekend. They switched to a 3-5-2 set up at Arsenal in midweek, and that is likely to be the approach they take at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. After all, the same formation helped Watford to three goals on Monday night.
The Black Cats have one win in their last 12 games, as they head down to the second tier with a whimper. That victory was at Hull after they were relegated, and it looked like Sunderland were going to kick on with no pressure on them. However, back to back defeats at home to Swansea and at Arsenal have left them bottom, and they’re set to wrap up a dismal season in the top flight on Sunday.
Sunderland’s away form has been terrible, which is a huge part of their quick relegation to the Championship. They’ve lost 14 of their 18 away games, averaging just 0.56 points per game on their travels this term. Having conceded 64 goals across the season, the visitors are likely to struggle in this trip. Having lost five of their last six games on their travels, we’re expecting another loss for David Moyes’ men this weekend.
Chelsea v Sunderland Head to Head
The Blues claimed a narrow 1-0 at the Stadium of Light back in December when these two sides last met. Chelsea have won 3-1 in back to back meetings with the Black Cats at Stamford Bridge. They’ll be hoping to avoid a repeat of the 3-2 defeat they suffered in May last year, which looked like it would be John Terry’s final match in a Blue shirt. It seems like this meeting with the Mackems will be his last Chelsea game.
- Sunderland 0-1 Chelsea, Dec 2016
- Sunderland 3-2 Chelsea, May 2016
- Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland, Dec 2015
- Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland, May 2015
- Sunderland 0-0 Chelsea, Nov 2014
- Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – 4/5 with Coral
- Cesc Fabregas to score – 7/4 with Bet365
Chelsea come into this game priced at 1/6 with Sky Bet to take the three points, while Sunderland are massive 28/1 outsiders with Ladbrokes. The draw can be backed at 15/2 with Betfair, but we can’t see anything but a home win this weekend. That’s despite the collapse the Blues suffered at the back on Monday night. Following three straight wins to nil, the champions then edged out Watford 4-3 on Monday night to make it four straight home victories. However, their rotated side clearly struggled, with Cesc Fabregas scoring late on to secure a win.
While Sunderland aren’t prolific scorers at home, they’ll fancy their chances of troubling Chelsea’s second string defence. They’ve found the net in five of their last six visits to this ground, scoring eight goals across those six trips. With nothing to lose in their final game at this level, we expect the Black Cats to push forward. However, the champions should be able to rack up a few goals against one of the worst defences in the division. We think this game will be filled with goals, so we’re backing Chelsea and over 2.5 at 4/5 with Coral.
We expect most of the side which started against Watford to feature here, it’ll likely only have a few first team players involved. We can see a spot in the side for Cesc Fabregas, who will be looking to build on his goal against Watford. The Spaniard has been in wonderful form of late, while he struck the only goal when these two sides met earlier in the season. We’re backing him to get among the goals once again, as we’re tipping Fabregas to score any time at 7/4 with Bet365.