Sunderland news: Adam Johnson and Costel Pantilimon eye Chelsea upset

Gus Poyet Press Conference Still

All the latest news from the Stadium of Light, including comments from manager Gus Poyet on Ricky Alvarez and Sebastian Coates

Duo could return

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has said that both Ricky Alvarez and Sebastian Coates could return to action against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.

While the 26-year-old attacking midfielder has not featured for the Black Cats since September, 24-year-old defender Coates has made just once competitive appearance for the club so far this season.

“It has been another week for Sebastian Coates who has been training very well with problems at all, so he is slowly pushing and challenging the centre backs,” Sunderland’s official website quotes Poyet as saying.

“Ricky trained on Tuesday which is great for us and he is desperate to play because that type of player cannot see himself outside, so he suffers when he cannot train and sees the team playing.

“He has a big chance to be available for Saturday and again we need to look after him, but he could make a big impact for us because these games are going to be tight and you need quality in the final third to go in and open up possibilities.”

Costel Pantilimon confident

One Sunderland player who is likely to start against league leaders Chelsea at the Stadium of Light is Costel Pantilimon, who is looking forward to facing the likes of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.

“These types of games are what make you a football player and they are what make you want to pursue a career in the game, so we are all looking forward to it,” the 27-year-old told Sunderland’s official website.

“It is also very important for us to head into the game with the right mentality and a strong work ethic. Chelsea are strong and at this moment in time they are unbeaten, but we hope to work hard and if we do then maybe we can pick up a positive result.

“We have already shown against good sides that we are a hard team to beat, especially at home because the support we get from the fans is very important and it can change the game.”

Adam Johnson's hope

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson also seems confident of picking up at least a point against Chelsea on Saturday and told the club’s official website: “It’s going to be a difficult game against Chelsea but we've been strong and we have always done well against the big teams, so hopefully that will continue.

“We got massive wins against the top teams last season when we needed them, so if we can carry that momentum and pick up points it would be great for us.”

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