Chelsea-Sunderland betting preview
This match is of great significance to the thriller that the English Premier League title race has become. The last week saw one of the title contenders, Manchester City, slipping up irreversibly. First, they lost against Liverpool on Sunday. And then they were held in the midweek by the bottom-placed Sunderland, who is visiting another title seeker on this Saturday.
Now, Chelsea and Liverpool have become the front-runners for the crown. The team that wins all their remaining four matches will lift the EPL trophy. Next weekend’s Liverpool vs Chelsea game will be a final for all practical purposes – that is, if Chelsea avoid the fate suffered by Manchester City against Sunderland.
Sunderland are at the bottom of the table. The team has played one match fewer than the other relegation candidates. Still, they face the stiffest climb to get out of the hole.
Chelsea are not in a position to show any sympathy to the bottom-dwellers. They are two points behind Liverpool. No way they can afford to settle for anything less than three points. They have a near-perfect recent H2H statistics against Sunderland: 17 wins out of 19 matches.
But in the earlier matches of the season, Sunderland showed good fight against Chelsea. Generally, of late, they have played well against the title-chasers. They gave a scare to Liverpool at Anfield and then they drew with City last week.
Eden Hazard’s injury is a huge blow to Chelsea, particularly its timing. But Demba Ba’s renewed form offers them hope. If Chelsea’s players perform to their potential, they can virtually destroy Sunderland. But the pressure of title race and renewed vigour when faced with the threat of relegation – more than any of their individual players’ form –will work in Sunderland’s favour.
Chelsea are unlikely to suffer a banana skin game at this stage.
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