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Chelsea vs Sunderland - Premier League preview and team news

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By Stephen Donovan

Friday 18 April 2014

Three points against Sunderland will - at least temporarily - take Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League, but the rock-bottom visitors also desperately need the points.

Even with a Champions League semi-final and a potential title decider coming up, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will not allow his side to be distracted from this fixture. The manner of victory away to 10-man Swansea City was not all that convincing, although they did miss a hatful of chances to make the scoreline more emphatic, a lack of ruthlessness that has affected the Blues for much of the season.

There have been occasions this season where Sunderland have looked far from a side languishing at the foot of the Premier League table. That was the case again on Wednesday as they game within a couple of minutes of pulling off a remarkable victory away to title-chasing Manchester City. Only a goalkeeping error from Vito Mannone saw them fall short, and they are still a massive six points from safety.

Chelsea may not risk Eden Hazard, who is still carrying an injury. Otherwise they have a fully-fit squad available.

Connor Wickham is set to keep his place in the Sunderland team after scoring twice at the Etihad Stadium, but Steven Fletcher and Kieren Westwood are still out.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Cardiff v Stoke

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