Match to be played on Wednesday 4th December 2013 at 19:45. Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland.
Chelsea embark on the second leg of what Jose Mourinho described as the S-S-S run of fixtures, travelling to Sunderland in-between facing Southampton and Stoke .
The manager will not be taking the Black Cats lightly, especially after the way they surprised Manchester City last month, but he did say there would be an element of squad rotation.
Here is how we expect Chelsea to line up:
Ivanovic Cahill Terry Cole
Mata Oscar Schurrle
That's a total of four changes, and here is how we break them down:
- Ashley Cole in for Azpilicueta: The Spaniard has performed superbly at left-back in recent weeks, but Mourinho has no intention of ostracising Cole, and this tricky away tie is an ideal one for him to prove a point. Just three days ago he praised his attitude as an 'example', and so we can see him being given this game as a way back in.
- Lampard in for Essien: The Michael Essien experiment failed against Southampton, with the Ghanaian midfielder majorly disappointing. Frank Lampard is made for popping up with goals in games like this and we expect him to start, and be substituted off midway through the second half for Mikel if the game appears wrapped up.
- Schurrle in for Hazard. Belgian wizard Eden Hazard had one of his more less impressive games against Southampton, he and Oscar totally overshadowed by Juan Mata. Andre Schurrle was an unused substitute and so will be fresh and ready to go in Hazard's place.
- Ba in for Torres: Just when it seemed Demba Ba's Chelsea career may be done, he goes and surprises us. His well taken goal against Southampton was a reminder of his poaching skills, and with Torres having a day to forget we can see the former Newcastle man being rewarded with a shot against Sunderland.