Antonio Conte’s blazing inferno isn’t quite ready to call it a season just yet. There are two games left and plenty of targets, both team and individual to hit.
For this game, the focus will be on getting win no.30 on the season to set a new Premier League record, on getting César Azpilicueta to complete his ironman feat of playing every single minute of ever single league game, and on getting John Terry his final appearance in a Chelsea shirt at Stamford Bridge. It probably will be a substitute appearance but it will undoubtedly draw the biggest cheers of the night. At least before the team lifts the Premier League trophy for the second time in three seasons and for the fifth time since 2004.
It will be a very special day for Chelsea Foundation coach Tom Horrigan tomorrow...#ChelseaChampions https://t.co/6Dw8FLPgzC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 20, 2017
And then the work will begin to prepare for the FA Cup final, the summer transfer window, and the great challenge of next season. The work never stops. There’s history to be made.
Date / Time: Sunday, May 21, 15:00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6, home of the Champions of England
Referee: Neil Swarbrick — Mr. Swarbrick has refereed three Chelsea matches this season, all wins for Chelsea, all against teams in the bottom four, including the reverse fixture at the Stadium of Light, a 1-0 win for the Blues.
Forecast: Warm sunshine for the Champions.
On TV: none (UK); SyFy (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA); Hotstar (India)
Chelsea team news: After a heavily rotated squad played out an entertaining but rather silly 4-3 win over Watford on Monday, Conte is largely expected to field his usual starters to keep them match fit for next weekend’s FA Cup final and to get that 30th league win of the season. The current record is 29, with Chelsea hitting that mark three times (04-05, 05-06, 16-17). With three points, Chelsea would finish the season on 93 points, the second highest ever in Premier League history (Chelsea also hold that record with 95 in 2004-05).
Sunderland team news: Sunderland, presuming they find enough players willing to play this game, have been the worst team in the league since day one and David Moyes’s rather uninspired stewardship continued to uninspire them to spending all but two weeks of the season in the relegation zone. The fact that they did this after spending £8m on Chelsea legend Papy Djilobodji (who’s not played since copping a four-match suspension for punching West Brom’s Darren Fletcher at the end of January) just adds to the amusement.
Sunderland’s future looks bleak and it may be a while before we see them again in the Premier League.
View from the enemy: Roker Report, soon to be the best blog covering a Championship side. Be sure to check out their Q&A with Blogfather Graham, who throws a bit of well-deserved praise in ever-improving Marcos Alonso’s way.
Previously: It’s been a great season and could yet become fantastic, even. I’ve been watching this video on constant loop since it’s been released (and I’m still looking for the name of the first song).