Sunderland seemed to thrive on the fact that nobody gave them a chance at Manchester City after their run of one point from eight fixtures, yet find themselves similarly discounted three days on at Stamford Bridge.
The bottom club are 14/1 to ruin Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten home Premier League record, while they are 11/2 to draw in a match that sees Chelsea positioned as 1/5 favourites.
Recent head-to-head figures indicate that the gulf between the sides is far thinner than those odds and the table imply. Gus Poyet’s men eliminated the Blues from the Capital One Cup in extra time and fell 3-4 to them in the league at Wearside.
Results in west London read even more encouragingly for the strugglers, whose last three visits saw them suffer 1-2 and 0-1 losses – leading in the former – and claim a remarkable 3-0 victory under Steve Bruce in 2010.
It is enough to suggest that the 13/10 handicap price for the Black Cats to triumph with a two-goal head-start is well worth snapping up.
Sunderland have given the Premier League’s elite grief all season long despite their lowly station, only falling 1-2 away to Liverpool, pilfering four points off Manchester City and trading 1-0 wins with Everton.
Their trilogy of clashes with champions Manchester United across all competitions so far in 2013/14 maintained the theme: they conquered them once and were defeated by one goal on the other two occasions.
Even their current nine-game league winless sequence hasn’t been a complete ordeal, enduring just two reverses by more than one goal in the latter seven.
Chelsea weren’t too hot last time out, being restrained for 68 minutes before finally mapping out a route through 10-man Swansea’s defence, and have won by more than one goal in a surprisingly low nine of their 18 domestic fixtures as hosts.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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