Premier League match will dawn at the Stadium of Light when Sunderland host Chelsea on Saturday, September 10, 2011. Chelsea had had a dominant run of 11 straight victories over the Black Cats before being stunned 3-0 last season, that too at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have a new manager in Villas-Boas this season who will want to help his side live down that humiliating defeat.
In their first match of the season, Sunderland would have been satisfied with the 1-1 draw away against Liverpool. But their next game, a derby at home against Newcastle ended 1-0 in the visitors’ favour. As if that wasn’t enough to dampen spirits, their next match away against minnows Swansea ended in a goalless stalemate.
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Sunderland finished creditably in tenth place last year but the results so far are not very encouraging. A league cup loss of 1-0 to Brighton & Hove Albion has resulted in the squad’s early exit from that tournament and manager Steve Bruce has his task cut out to get the team up and running against Chelsea, on Saturday. Bruce will rely hugely on his Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan who had 10 strikes last season and the Sunderland manager did well to ward off interest in the 25-year old striker from Galatsaray, during the transfer window.
Chelsea have used the transfer window to try and spruce up their squad and the latest player to join up at Stamford Bridge is Liverpool’s Raul Meireles. Meireles could challenge Lampard for a midfield slot and that could bring down the average age in an aging side. Chelsea did not have the ideal start to the season when they drew their season opener against Stoke. But their subsequent convincing wins against West Brom and Norwich would have pleased their fans; a step in the right direction for new manager Villas-Boas.
Bookmakers favour Chelsea to beat Sunderland with 7/10 odds offered on a Chelsea victory. As opposed to that, a Sunderland win is quoted at 4/1. A draw, the second most plausible result, attracts odds of 11/4.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.