Sunderland to test Chelsea firepower today

ChelseaLeague leaders Chelsea overcame a tough test against West Brom on Sunday, but the Blues will now be looking to continue their remarkable winning run when they travel to take on rock-bottom Sunderland today.
The Baggies made life difficult for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but Diego Costa’s 12th goal of the season ensured that Antonio Conte’s men still sit three points clear at the top of the league standings with a midweek test against Sunderland to come.
David Moyes’ side languish in 20th place in the table after they were beaten 3-0 by fellow strugglers Swansea on Saturday, and it will undoubtedly be a big task for the team to try and secure a win over a rampant Chelsea side, who have now won nine straight games.
Conte will put Chelsea captain John Terry through a late fitness test after the defender missed the win over West Brom with a muscular injury.
Sunderland, meanwhile, will be without long-term absentees Duncan Watmore (knee), who is out for the rest of the season, and Lee Cattermole (hip injury) while Paddy McNair remains out with a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The game will also come too soon for Fabio Borini (groin) and Jack Rodwell (hamstring).
Chelsea meanwhile, looked as if they had lost their way a bit when to lost to Liverpool at home and to Arsenal at the Emirates. However, since that game versus Arsenal, the Blues have gone on a nine game winning streak, lining up in a 3-4-3 formation and destroying many top defenses including Manchester United, Man City, and Tottenham on the way. Now they sit at the top of the table, three points clear of Arsenal and six points clear of the third placed Liverpool and they face four relatively easy fixtures against Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke in the next 20 days. Chelsea would be hoping to win all these fixtures to ensure that they start the year 2017 with a very healthy lead at the top of the table.

- EveningStandard

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