Rafa Benitez finally recorded his first win as Chelsea manager earlier in the week, but his next opposition are certain to provide a much sterner test than Nordsjaelland.
Another three points are a prerequisite on Wearside with the Blues almost out of the title picture and their top-four finish far from guaranteed. They’re 4/5 to win at struggling Sunderland and, based on recent history, this could prove a decent price.
Throwing current form out of the window is a dangerous game to play when wagering your hard earned, but with seven successive wins at the Stadium of Light, there isn’t a ground that Chelsea would sooner visit in desperate need of points.
They’ve only failed to claim the spoils in one of the past 15 when renewing hostilities with the Black Cats and Benitez will be hoping that their 6-1 thrashing of the Danish minnows will lift spirits somewhat.
Sunderland are hardly flying themselves with the solitary win in their last 10 in all competitions and are surely there for the taking.
Their first half showing at Norwich was diabolical last weekend, but the way they upped their game in the second half was impressive.
They’ll need to reciprocate the latter effort for 90 minutes when the soon-to-be-de-throned European champions come to town and, given the Blues’ goal-scoring concerns, some resolute defending will ensure fewer than 2.5 goals going in. This is available at 4/6, while the 12/5 on offer for less than 1.5 goals could also be worth a bet.
In terms of correct score betting, 1-0 either way represents the most likely outcome.
A price of 6/1 says the visitors will edge it by this scoreline, while the same ending but favouring Sunderland is on offer at a very respectable 10/1.
For those expecting Fernando Torres to go on a pre-Christmas scoring spree after bagging a brace against Nordsjaelland, he can be backed at a pitiful 11/8 to notch any time at the Stadium of Light, while he’s a 5/1 shot to break the deadlock. Both bets, however, should be avoided like the lecherous sleazebag at the office party.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date