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Sunderland vs Chelsea Preview: In Search of a League Win

Rafa Benitez might have secured his first win as the Chelsea manager, but he still has to go a long way before eliminating the reservations Chelsea fans have over him. A 6-1 thumping of a team struggling to cope against the big clubs does not tell the whole story of Benitez’ short reign as Chelsea manager, as the club has fallen 10 points behind leaders Manchester United. Sports betting sites odds suggest that Chelsea are unlikely to win the title this time as well.

It is incredible considering that Chelsea were not too far off the leaders when Benitez took over. Now, Chelsea not only lack Champions League football, but also another season without a league title.

Frank Lampard returning to the team is a big boost for Chelsea ahead of the visit to Sunderland. Martin O’Neill’s men might be struggling near the bottom of the table, but they are capable of springing a surprise.

It is still amazing considering that Chelsea are without a league win since the 4-2 victory over Tottenham in October. However, it is exactly what Benitez needs to achieve in order to go even further behind United and City. He will have to do without Mikel, who is banned for this match.

Torres finally ended his goal drought by scoring two against Nordsjaelland, and it will be interesting to see if he can score his first league goal since his last against Norwich.

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez said,

“We have to beat Sunderland, and if we can we’ll be closer to at least one of the leaders.

My job is to concentrate on my team and if we can be closer sooner rather than later that would be good. We have a chance as long as we start winning games.

The last game was very good, you can talk about the level of the other team but it was the Champions League and the level and intensity was fantastic.”

Possible team lineups:

Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Mignolet, Bardsley, Kilgallon, Cuellar, Rose, Johnson, Larsson, Gardner, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Romeu, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Moses, Torres

Kick off: 15:00 BST