Chelsea v Sunderland – All eyes on the Bridge as Black Cats look to pounce
All eyes will be on Stamford Bridge tomorrow with the football world watching to see how Chelsea’s multi-millionaire players will react to the sacking of boss Jose Mourinho. The Special One is gone just seven months after leading his side to EPL glory and the champions now face Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland with the very real possibility of being in the bottom three at Christmas. The shocking turn around in the club’s fortunes sees the Blues in 16th place with just two wins in their last ten EPL games and only four wins all season.
IMAGINE THE UNTHINKABLE
Online football tipsters are even starting to think the unimaginable might be possible given Chelsea’s horror season and history showing that the chances of Chelsea being relegated greater than 50-50 – of the 92 clubs who had 15 points or less from their opening 16 games (as Chelsea currently have) in the EPL, 52% dropped down out of the division.
BIG SAM’S BLACK CATS
Big Sam’s Black Cats are second bottom but Sunderland looked to have turned a corner since his arrival to replace Dirk Advocaat, and better displays have seen them close the gap on the teams above them. Chelsea are just three points above so Sunderland could pull them into the relegation zone if Swansea and Norwich both manage draws or wins. Sunderland have lost their last two league games – against Arsenal and Watford – but so have Chelsea – 0-1 against Bournemouth and 2-1 at Leicester which proved the final straw for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
Mourinho lambasted his players after the defeat against this season’s surprise Premier League leaders and said he felt “betrayed” by those who had not performed of him or the club. Eden Hazard – last season’s Premier League player of the year – was widely criticised for leaving the field and heading straight down the tunnel after picking up a knock against Leicester and so questions remain as to whether the Belgian star will feature on Saturday.
HIDDINK TO RETURN?
Speculation is growing that Guus Hiddink will revive his former role and take over as Chelsea interim manager for the second time, but whoever is in charge at the Bridge will be able to recall Pedro, Baba Rahman and Pedro should they deem them worthy of a first team start. Allardyce will have to do without Lee Catermole and Sebastian Larsson, while Sebastian Coates is a doubt. Sunderland are expected to have Younes Kaboul available following his lay off and will be licking their collective Cat lips at the prospect of extending Chelsea’s worse start to a season since 1978-79 – the year they were relegated.
‘SAD, SAD DAY’ FOR JT
Reacting to Mourinho’s departure, Chelsea skipper John Terry commented: “Thank you doesn’t seem enough. Sad, sad day. Going to miss you boss. The very best I have ever worked with, unbelievable memories together.”
By: Joe Cahal