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How should Chelsea line up against relegation-threatened Sunderland on Saturday?

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Chelsea could have a say in the relegation race as well.

Ian Walton/Getty Images

The race is almost run.  Chelsea will not finish first.  Or anywhere near the podium for that matter.  But we did shunt an annoying rival straight off the track and into the nearest tire-wall just a few moments ago, which was fun.  Sometimes, the best you can do is make others feel bad.

So as we round the last corner and enter the final straightaway, there's even less to fight for than the previous couple weeks.  Chelsea's last three games all involve opposition who care far more about these games than we do.  Sunderland are fighting for their very lives, trying to be the one team of the three non-Villa teams at the bottom of the league (Newcastle, Norwich the others) to survive the drop.  Liverpool, coming up midweek, are trying to ensure their contingency plan for European football next season should they not end up winning the Europa League (those trophies come direct from the factory with Sevilla's name already etched on).  Lastly, Leicester will be in town next weekend to close out the season.  I suppose that'll just be one big party at Stamford Bridge.

In any case, in the most immediate matter at hand, here's a match that's vitally important for the home side and not at all important for us.  Beating Sunderland on Saturday would help out Newcastle and Chelsea's universally adored and beloved former interim manager Rafa Benitez.  So do we pick the U16 or the U12 side then?  (The U21s are in action on Friday, so the likes of Colkett and Palmer may not quite be available.)

The squad is as healthy as against Spurs on Monday, and we're even boosted by the return of Thibaut Courtois from suspension.  Choose wisely.

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