Match Preview: Chelsea v. Sunderland

Bela TrimmelCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2009

SUNDERLAND, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 24:  Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea competes for the ball with Kieran Richardson of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Chelsea at The Stadium of Light on May 24, 2009 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Premier League football continues on Tuesday evening as Chelsea take on Sunderland at The Stadium of Light.

This midweek match will likely serve as a test for the strength of The Black Cats lineup for the coming season.

Newly appointed manager, Steve Bruce, was quoted by the BBC on Monday as saying "they are one of the best teams in the world (Chelsea)... but the way we played against Bolton showed that we can match anyone."

Bruce certainly had the less stressful match at the weekend. His side secured a win on a Darren Bent goal five minutes into the match.

Meanwhile, Bruce's counterpart, newly appointed Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti spent the better part of the match wondering if his opening game would be a draw.


The Good

New management seems to be working well, so far, for both clubs. Steve Bruce's side sailed to an easy opening victory and his signings apart from Bent have added depth to the Sunderland midfield.

For Chelsea, the new management seems to have brought a stronger sense of stability that was ushered in under Guus Hiddink when he assumed his stewardship of the club at the end of last season.

Chelsea players seem to be regaining the confidence that they had prior to the departing of Jose Mourinho.


The Bad

The only real downside facing the two clubs are the injuries to their benches.

Sunderland are looking at two unavailable players in McShane and de Silva.

Steed Malbranque is looking at a 50% chance of playing after an ankle injury he suffered against Bolton this past weekend where he was subbed off. He is joined by Kieran Richardson and Andy Reid as doubtful for the match.

Chelsea will start the match tomorrow without Joe Cole, Paulo Ferreira, and their summer signing, Yuri Zhirkov. Belletti and Alex are doubtful for the Blues.



While Sunderland have made descent signings during the transfer window, look for Chelsea to win this match.

While it is unlikely that it will be an easy match for the Blues, after their near draw over on Saturday, they will be looking to improve their form quickly and silence their critics.

Chelsea 1-0 Sunderland