Sunderland are back in the bottom three and in need of points as they welcome a Chelsea side who looked almost like their old selves in the second half of Monday’s draw with Tottenham.
Sam Allardyce’s side salvaged a potentially crucial point at Stoke last weekend thanks to a late penalty from Jermain Defoe, and sit just one point behind neighbours Newcastle with a game in hand.
However, the hosts have a poor recent record in this fixture; Sunderland haven’t beaten Chelsea at home since October 2000, when Claudio Ranieri was in the visiting dugout.
They also need to find some scoring form in front of their own fans; only Aston Villa have scored less than Sunderland’s 17 goals at home this season.
Chelsea travel north having ended Tottenham’s title challenge with their 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Monday night in a match that at times was more of a WWE bout than football match.
The Blues have lost just twice in their last 19 games, whilst no team has picked up as many away points as Guus Hiddink’s side since the turn of the year.
Although Chelsea’s season has been one to write off, they have spread their goals around in this campaign; 19 different players have scored for the Blues this season, more than any other side.
Billy Jones is the only injury doubt for Sunderland, with Allardyce needing to decide whether to name the same starting XI for the sixth consecutive game.
Thibaut Courtois is set to return in goal for the visitors after serving his two-match suspension, whilst Eden Hazard could start after his game-changing impact from the bench on Monday evening.
League Position: Sunderland – 18th (32 pts); Chelsea – 9th (48 pts)
Previous Meeting: Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland (December 19, 2015)
Form: Sunderland – DDLWDD; Chelsea – DWLLWD
Key Men: Sunderland – Jermain Defoe; Chelsea – Eden Hazard
Shoot Says: Sunderland 1-2 Chelsea