Chelsea v Sunderland: Di Canio unable to prevent Blues mauling

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Chelsea welcome Sunderland to Stamford Bridge, in the hope of re-affirming their position within the Premier League top four by winning at 1/3.

And even if the visiting side are to be lifted by the appointment of Paolo Di Canio, it seems highly unlikely that they can even salvage a draw here at 4/1.

Thus, punters would be advised to avoid the 8/1 regarding the away side, and instead focus on backing the hosts in handicap markets as a means to turn a profit on the game.

On six of the past nine times these teams have renewed acquaintances, the Blues have emerged triumphant by means of a two-goal margin or more.

Therefore, they look value at 10/11 giving up a goal head-start to their relegation-threatened visitors, who are winless in eight.

And given that only four sides have registered less times on the road this term than the Black Cats, a Chelsea side representing the top flight’s third-best defence could record a twelfth seasonal clean sheet.

17/20 is the price that such an outcome ensues, but those who fancy such an occurrence may prefer the better value 21/20 that the hosts triumph without conceding.

Punters should also note that Chelsea, who have lost just once at home to lower-half opposition throughout the season, have most regularly bagged two-goal hauls in matches.

Indeed, a third of their 30 top-flight fixtures over the campaign have reaped two Blues strikes, so a 2-0 win could be worth investment at 5/1, whilst more cautious punters will like the 1/1 that Rafa Benitez’ men score two or three goals in the game.

Benitez’ team selection is currently a point of conjecture, with the squad rotation system he utilised at Liverpool now a prominent feature of his Stamford Bridge reign.

And with Europa League and FA Cup commitments still prevalent, the likes of 9/2 Juan Mata look best watched as first scorer options.

Eden Hazard is likely to be afforded a start however, and the Belgian maestro looks value at 6/1 to break the deadlock with a second goal in as many league home appearances.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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