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Barclays Premier League

Stamford Bridge

Sat 19 Apr 2014 17:30

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V SUNDERLAND

The countdown continues with our fourth to last league game of the season. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton set their sights on the visitor of the Wearsiders…

TALKING POINTS
Any kind of win on Saturday will return Chelsea to the top of the pile, overnight at least. The Blues have enjoyed this fixture in recent years, averaging more than three goals a game in our 12 Premier League meetings at Stamford Bridge.

But this time the morale of visitors Sunderland, desperate to evade the drop, is hard to predict. Their draw at Manchester City on Wednesday was thoroughly deserved and ended a run of five successive defeats, yet the crucial full three points were surrendered late-on by a self-inflicted wound.

Without a win since 1 February (though that was against neighbours Newcastle) the Black Cats have lost seven of the last eight league games and drawn the other. They have still only scored six times since hitting three against the Geordies and manager Gus Poyet has muttered darkly about deep-lying issues at the heart of the club.

He took them to a Capital One Cup final, defeating José Mourinho's Blues en route, but gallant failure against Manchester City at Wembley has provided no succour from the weekly reality of league shortcomings.

KEY STAT
Sunderland have won fewer games in the Barclays Premier League (six in 33) than in cups (eight in 11 games) this season.


Former Blues icon Poyet, one of whose most memorable goals was a spectacular volley in this same match-up in 1999, had a fine reputation as a manager before arriving but had never managed at this level before.

A more experienced but less honest boss might not have sounded such a desolate tone after defeat last weekend but it is because he cares passionately, a trait he often displayed as a player at Stamford Bridge.

Even his ill-judged kissing of the Spurs badge during a win against Chelsea was solely directed at the man he felt had squeezed him out at the Bridge, however poorly it went down among Blues fans.

It is part of football lore that injured players return quicker to a successful team than a struggling one and Poyet declared only 17 first team players were fit enough to face City.

Incredibly his side put in one of their best performances of the season and, but for a moment of tin-hand paddling from goalkeeper Vito Mannone, would have become only the second team to win at City after Chelsea.

Mannone


Despite being written off in the media the Citizens are still in the title race, though their manager suggesting the club was shattered by the recent loss at Liverpool does put their readiness for battle into question.

Easter football, meanwhile, is not the packed schedule it once was. Back in 1999 Keith Sinclair, vicar of Aston parish, ordered his church bells to ring out during Chelsea's Sunday morning visit to nearby Villa Park. It was 'symbolic mourning' of football's encroachment into Easter Sunday services on the holiest day in the Christian calendar.

Yet since medieval times the moveable feast of Easter had been the traditional time for mob football matches such as Workington's 'Uppies and Downies'. In the professional era an intense fixture list was organised to entertain crowds enjoying a rare long weekend off work. Falling so close to the decision-making end of the season as it usually does, the Easter schedule earned a make-or-break reputation.

During Chelsea's debut season, 1905/06, a remarkable league crowd record of 67,000 enjoyed the Good Friday sunshine and saw the Pensioners draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Crucially the Red Devils remained above the Londoners in the promotion race and, after Jackie Robertson's men drew the following day at Grimsby and at home to Glossop three days later, Easter football had sealed Chelsea's fate.

This is still sometimes the case in the Football League: Championship sides, for instance, will play on Good Friday or Saturday and again on Easter Monday. With greater pressure from other competitions and concerns about recovery time, it is more rare for Premier League sides to undergo such a rigorous examinations.

Chelsea played twice over the last Easter holiday only because the FA Cup replay with Man United was scheduled for Monday 1 April. And if you like omens, Chelsea's hero last weekend at Swansea, Demba Ba, was also the only goalscorer in that win against the Mancunians.

At Easter 56 years ago, on 19 April 1957, Chelsea became the first club to fly domestically from a football match. The jet-set Pensioners had to be back from a match at Newcastle in time for Everton's visit to the capital the next day.

Sunderland will aim to become the first visitors in 10 to breach the Chelsea defence at Stamford Bridge. However, all five of the Blues' league defeats this season have come in games immediately prior to Champions League midweeks.

Chelsea are the last English side still competing in Europe and have been allowed the least preparation time of the four remaining sides. This game was brought forward to Saturday at 5.30pm by the Premier League from its previous TV slot of Sunday 4pm and is one of the fairest available given that Sunderland played on Wednesday.

However, our Champions League opponents Atletico play Eiche at home this weekend, the match being brought forward to Friday by La Liga to maximise their preparations for the first leg of Tuesday's semi-final.

The other Madrid side in the last four, Real, were also in action on Wednesday, beating Barcelona to lift the King's Cup. As a result Spanish football authorities have postponed their Primera match this weekend to give them a clear run to Wednesday's UEFA clash. Their opponents, Bayern, play on Saturday afternoon.


The race for the Premier League Golden Boot
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 29
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) 20
Yaya Toure (Man City) 18
Sergio Aguero (Man City) 15
Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) 15
Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) 15
Eden Hazard 14


The race for the Premier League Golden Glove
Petr Cech 16
Tim Howard (Everton) 13
Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) 13
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) 12
David De Gea (Man Utd) 11

 

The Premier League run in
Chelsea Liverpool Man City
Max points 87 89 86
Sat 19 Apr Sunderland (h)
Sun 20 Apr Norwich (a)
Mon 21 Apr West Brom (h)
Sun 27 Apr Liverpool (a) Chelsea (h) C Palace (a)
Sat 3 May Everton (a)
Sun 4 May Norwich (h)
Mon 5 May C Palace (a)
Wed 7 May Aston Villa (h)
Sun 11 May Cardiff (a) Newcastle (h) West Ham (h)

 

Leaders Liverpool visit Norwich on Sunday; they have hit five in each of the last three encounters with Canaries. On Monday West Brom play away at Man City, whom they lost narrowly to in the reverse fixture.

 

Barclays Premier League fixtures
Saturday

Tottenham v Fulham 12.45pm - BT Sport
Aston Villa v Southampton 3pm
Cardiff v Stoke 3pm
Newcastle v Swansea 3pm
West Ham v Crystal Palace 3pm
Chelsea v Sunderland 5.30pm - Sky Sports
Sunday
Norwich v Liverpool 12pm - Sky Sports
Hull v Arsenal 2.05pm - Sky Sports
Everton v Man Utd 4.10pm - Sky Sports
Monday
Man City v West Brom 8pm - Sky Sports


Sunderland are six points from safety with five games remaining.

 

Barclays Premier League table - top seven
Pld Gd Pts
1 Liverpool 34 +51 77
2 Chelsea 34 +42 75
3 Man City 33 +54 71
4 Arsenal 34 +18 67
5 Everton 34 +21 66
6 Tottenham 34 0 60
7 Man United 33 +18 57
20 Sunderland 33 -25 26


 

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V SUNDERLAND

CHELSEA STATS
We have the best home Barclays Premier League record, winning 47 from a possible 51 points.

Chelsea have the best defence in the Premier League conceding only 24 goals in 34 games including 16 clean sheets.

Nine of our 15 Premier League games in 2014 have been goalless at half-time.

Chelsea have won 13 and drawn two of the 15 games we have been ahead at half-time.

We have only lost seven points from winning positions this term.

The Blues have won 19 and drawn two of the 22 league games when we have scored the opening goal. Stoke away was the only time we lost after taking the lead.

The Blues are 10 points up compared to the corresponding 34 fixtures last season.

In 2014 we have kept 14 clean sheets and conceded just 11 goals in 22 games in all competitions.

Chelsea have won 22 and drawn four of our last 26 home Premier League games, since QPR won at Stamford Bridge on 2 January last year.

Jose Mourinho is unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in all 93 domestic games in open play.

He takes charge of his 78th Premier League game at Stamford Bridge this weekend. He remains unbeaten, gaining 199 points from a possible 231.

Last six results
Mar 22 Arsenal (h) W 6-0
Mar 29 Crystal Palace (a) L 0-1
Apr 2 PSG (Champions League a) L 1-3
Apr 5 Stoke (h) W 3-0
Apr 8 Paris Saint-Germain (Champions League h) W 2-0
Apr 13 Swansea (a) W 1-0

Premier League scorers (66)
Hazard 14 (4 pens), Eto'o 8, Oscar 8, Schürrle 7, Lampard 6 (1 pen), Ba 4, Torres 4, Ivanovic 3, Willian 3, Salah 2, Terry 2, own goals 2, Cahill 1, Mikel 1, Ramires 1


League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 5
A home defeat: 26

Chelsea's next three games
Tue 22 Apr Atletico Madrid Champions League semi-final first leg away 7.45pm
Sun 27 Apr Liverpool away 2.05pm
Wed 30 Apr Atletico Madrid (Champions League) home 7.45pm

MILESTONES
Chelsea have kept nine successive clean sheets at Stamford Bridge and are seeking to equal our record of 10, originally set in 1927 and repeated in 2010.

If selected Gary Cahill will play his 50th game of the season for club and country.

Frank Lampard's next converted penalty will be his 50th for the Blues.


SUNDERLAND STATS
Formed
1879

Major trophies
6 League championships, last in 1936
2 FA Cups, last in 1973
1 FA Charity Shield in 1936


Sunderland's last major piece of silverware was the FA Cup in 1973 when Ian Porterfield scored the winner against Leeds for the Second Division side.

Sunderland have won two points from the last 27 and have lost five of their last six in the Premier League.

Gus Poyet's side have won 14 from a possible 51 points on the road. They have managed three wins at Everton, Fulham and Newcastle, five draws against Southampton, Aston Villa, West Ham, Cardiff and Sunderland and defeats to Crystal Palace, West Brom, Swansea, Hull, Stoke, Arsenal, Norwich, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Sixty-nine per cent of Sunderland's points have been achieved against teams from the top half of the Premier League.

The Black Cats have not won any of the 18 games their opposition scored first, losing 15 and drawing three.

They have only gained three points from losing positions this term.

The Black Cats have failed to score in 13 Premier League games this term.

Their four penalties in the Premier League have been scored by four different players.

Poyet's side have beaten Man Utd, Chelsea and Southampton (twice) in cup competitions this season.


Manager Gustavo Poyet
Days in charge: 193
Played 35
Won 12
Drawn 7
Lost 16

Sunderland's last 10 year league history
Pts Pos Division Level
2003/04 79 3rd Championship 2
2004/05 94 1st Championship 2
2005/06 15 20th Premier League 1
2006/07 88 1st Championship 2
2007/08 39 15th Premier League 1
2008/09 36 16th Premier League 1
2009/10 44 13th Premier League 1
2010/11 47 10th Premier League 1
2011/12 45 13th Premier League 1
2012/13 39 17th Premier League 1


Last six results
Mar 22 Norwich (a) L 0-2
Mar 26 Liverpool (a) L 1-2
Mar 31 West Ham (h) L 1-2
Apr 7 Tottenham (a) L 1-5
Apr 12 Everton (h) L 0-1
Apr 16 Man City (a) D 2-2

Premier League scorers (31)
Johnson 8 (1 pen), Borini 3 (1 pen), Giaccherini 3, Fletcher 3, Ki Sung-Yueng 3 (1 pen), Bardsley 2, Colback 2, Gardner 2 (1 pen), Wickham 2, Altidore 1, Cattermole 1, O'Shea 1.


PMB



League games since
An away win: 5
An away draw: 0
An away defeat: 1


WINDOW WATCH
Black Cats' major completed January transfers and spring loans
Ins Marcus Alonso (Fiorentina, loan), Santiago Vergini (Estudiantes, loan), Oscar Ustari (Almeria, free), Ignacio Scocco (Internacional, undisclosed), Liam Bridcutt (Brighton, £2.5m)
Outs Cabral (Genoa, loan), Ji Dong-Won (Augsburg, undisclosed), Billy Knott (Port Vale, loan), Modibo Diakite (Fiorentina, loan), Danny Graham (Middlesbrough, loan), David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest, loan), Alfred N'Diaye (Real Betis, loan)


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Mike Dean is the official for his fourth Chelsea match this term. He was the referee for our 1-1 draw at Tottenham in September, our goalless draw at Arsenal just before Christmas and our 1-0 win at Man City in February.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
Phil Bardsley is suspended for Sunderland.


Visit again tomorrow for Part Two of the Briefing.

- Chelsea TV's 'Pre-Match at the Bridge show Sunderland is free to view for all Sky Digital customers

 

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OFFICIAL MAGAZINE & MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

The Chelsea FC matchday programme & official magazine are now both available to fans in multiple ways.

  • You can buy a digital version of either the programme or the magazine to download to your tablet and mobile devices.
  • If you prefer a hard copy they are available at the stadium or delivered to your door with an annual subscription.
  • Registered users can also read extracts from the matchday programme right here on chelseafc.com for free in the form of the manager and captain's programme notes written for every home game.

Digital Programme

DIGITAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Chelsea's official matchday programme will be available to download in digital format for Android and iOS tablets as well as Android mobile devices for the first time during the 2013/14 season. Our award-winning publication is released for every home game and is packed full of exclusive content, making it a must read for Blues fans of all ages.

Regular features in the programme for 2013/14 season include:

  • Read Jose Mourinho's thoughts in his exclusive manager's notes
  • Exclusive player features and regular Q&As with first-teamers
  • All the latest behind-the-scenes images and gossip from Cobham in The Insider
  • Captain's column
  • Detailed coverage of our opponents
  • In-depth look at the history of Chelsea FC and regular interviews with club legends
  • Column with different celebrity fan in each issue
  • Match analysis
  • All the latest Blues news
  • Under-21s, Academy and ladies pages

Single Issues = £2.99
Annual subscription = £39.99 (only available on iOS)


>> Android: click here to download or search "CFC Programme" in Google Play

>> iOS: click here to download or seach "CFC Programme" in the Newsstand


*Please note matchday programmes are available to download on the day of a home fixture

 

Digital Magazine

DIGITAL MAGAZINE

Chelsea magazine, the official monthly publication of Chelsea Football Club, is now available to download digitally for Android and iOS tablets, as well as Android mobile devices. Packed full of exclusive features, it is a must read for any discerning Blues fan. You can buy the latest issue of the magazine now for just £2.99.

Regular features in the magazine for 2013/14 include:

  • Jose Mourinho answering a selection of fans' question in every issue
  • Exclusive players feature with stunning behind-the-scenes images courtesy of the club's official photographer
  • The Games That Made Me Q&A with first-team squad members
  • Celebrity fan interviews
  • Bespoke historical features, catching up with former favourites and reminiscing on classic matches
  • Guest columnist Sebastian Coe
  • Detailed round-up of all the month's matches and full news summary
  • Academy player profile and summary of all the youth-team, reserve and Chelsea Ladies action
  • Shed End section devoted to the fans

Single Issues = £2.99
Annual subscription = £29.99 (only available on iOS)

Android >> click here to download this month's magazine  or search "CFC Magazine" in Google Play

iOS  >> click here to download this month's magazine or search "CFC Magazine" in the Newsstand

*Offer ends 28 February 2014.

Matchday Programme

PSG - 8/4/14 - MOURINHO

We begin this second leg knowing exactly what we need to do to progress...

PSG - 8/4/14 - JT

These are the big games, the big nights we all dreamed of as kids growing up, and we need big performances all round tonight if we are to go through...

ARSENAL - 22/3/14 - MOURINHO

We have another big derby game today...

ARSENAL - 22/3/14 - JT

What a great night Tuesday was...

GALATASARAY- 18/3/14 - JT

Before we talk about Galatasaray and Didier's return, I want to say how gutted we were to lose three points at Villa on Saturday evening...

GALATASARAY - 18/3/14 - MOURINHO

Tonight, we return to the Champions League and we, like Manchester United, find ourselves in a difficult position, where we are left to defend English football in Europe...

EVERTON - 22/2/14 - MOURINHO

At the moment, we are top of the league with three points more than Manchester City - or the same points if they win their game in hand...

EVERTON - 22/2/14 - JT

We go into this game top of the league and, with our match being the early kick-off this weekend, a win here against Everton is vital...

NEWCASTLE UNITED - 8/2/14 - MOURINHO

Are you happy with our players' performance at Manchester City? If so, show them today!

NEWCASTLE UNITED - 8/2/14 - JT

Monday night was a brilliant performance and a great result for us...

WEST HAM UNITED - 29/01/14 - MOURINHO

Tonight we go into a difficult game against West Ham understanding the importance of ensuring we take three points from this London derby...

WEST HAM UNITED- 29/01/14 - JT

After a good win over Stoke in the FA Cup, we come back to the league today with a London derby and we are determined to keep our winning streak going now...

MAN UNITED - 19/01/14 - MOURINHO

Today, we play against the champions. We don't play against a team that is 11 points away from the leaders, we play versus Manchester United...

MAN UNITED - 19/01/14 - JT

We are back at Stamford Bridge today after three away games on the spin, from which we've picked up three important wins...

CHELSEA PUBLICATIONS

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