Sunderland vs. Chelsea: Team News & Preview

MRLSH. - Jamie McDonald

It's try number eight for Chelsea to get a Premier League win. And it's try number four for the new manager to get a Premier League win. Fun times.

Here's something I learned today: Sunderland FC has a really nice website. And that's an understatement. Like all modern and clean lines. Uncluttered. It's as if it were designed by actual web designers from this actual decade. I can't stop looking at it; it's absolutely gorgeous.

You know what's not gorgeous? This segue, that lead-in, presumably this whole preview...and Chelsea's league form. Zero wins from seven. Four points from those 21. That's outrageously bad. Like, relegation zone bad. If you look at the current form table (last 6), Chelsea are tied for 18th, just one point ahead of QPR & Fulham. And since I'm not a fan of either of those, I can't even begin to wrap my head around how incredibly bad that is. Chelsea have not won in the league since October. Words fail me.

It's only appropriate then that the 6-1 victory midweek was worth absolutely nothing as well. Bad. Incredibly bad.

I guess I should look for some positives. Chelsea scored six on Wednesday and Fernando Torres did his usual thing that he does versus really, really bad teams. Yey. Chelsea also scored six versus Wolvehampton Wanderers in the League Cup in September and followed that on with a storming run of form. So there's that. And despite this metric ton of crap from the team recently - like the one Jeff Goldblum finds in Jurassic Park - somehow Chelsea are still third. Hurray.

Sunderland: Lately, Sunderland themselves have been just as bad as Chelsea. Of course, Martin O'Neil's men have been terrible all season - just two wins altogether (and two from their last 22(!) Premier League matches); but one of those did come away to Fulham, a team that Chelsea struggled to do anything with less than a fortnight ago.

Oh right, positives. Leading scorer, and pretty much the only person capable of scoring on that team, Steven Fletcher is doubtful for tomorrow, while Lee Cattermole is currently losing his war versus karma. Joining Cattermole on the sidelines are Manchester United castoffs John O'Shea and Wes Brown.

Then again, they do have Louis Saha who's made half a career out of scoring against Chelsea. Plus last season, Stephane Sessegnon (from Benin - don't see that too often) gave the Chelsea defense the runaround although the Blues did end up winning both home and away. Probably should also mention that the last time Mr. Interim Manager had to visit the Stadium of Light, his team ended up losing via a beach ball.

Expect nothing; accept everything.

Chelsea: FRANK LAMPARD IS BACK! That is all.

Oh, here's a tactical preview, if you're into that sort of thing. Also, John Terry, Daniel Sturridge, and John Obi Mikel are all unavailable, in case you haven't been paying attention.

Chelsea haven't lost away to Sunderland in 12 years. But all such records are just meant to be broken, right, West Ham United?

Date/Time: Saturday, Dec. 8th, 15:00 GMT, 10:00 A.M. EST, 8:30 P.M. IST

Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland

TV Information: none (UK), ESPN2 (USA), ESPN (India)

Online: ESPN3

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