Premier League Preview and Prediction: Sunderland vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Sunderland vs. Chelsea

Venue: Stadium of Light – Saturday, May 7 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Sunderland 9/5 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 7/5

Match Preview

Sunderland welcome Chelsea to the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon in a game which could play a huge part in the battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Black Cats have put together a solid run of form which has seen them lose just once in their last eight in their efforts to avoid the drop. They sit one point outside the relegation zone with a far better goal difference and a game in hand on rivals Newcastle in 17th.

Sam Allardyce has steadied the club and given them a great chance of survival but there is still plenty of work to be done. His side come into this tie off the back of their 1-1 draw against Stoke.

Sunderland lost 3-1 in the earlier meeting between the sides this season but will be expected to be a tougher task for Chelsea this time around.

Last seasons meeting between at the Stadium of Light ended 0-0. A draw would be a solid result and give Sunderland confidence heading into their game in hand in midweek.

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Chelsea come into this tie battered and bruised from their 2-2 home draw against Spurs, which is being referred to as the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ after an intensely entertaining London Derby.

Guus Hiddink’s side came back from 2-0 down to earn a draw and showed grit and determination which has been missing on the whole from Chelsea for the majority of the season.

Chelsea players and fans alike will be happy to see the back of this season and their pitiful attempt to defend the title. They will be looking to finish the campaign in the strongest form possible.

The Blues will be looking ahead to next season and the pressure will be far less intense for them than Sunderland in this tie, which may just play into the home sides hands.

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Team News

Sunderland have just one injury concern heading into this tie as Billy Jones looks a doubt.

Chelsea look likely to without two players through injury as Kurt Zouma remains out and Loic Remy looks doubtful.

Key Points

Sunderland’s last five: D/L/W/D/D

Chelsea’s last five: W/L/L/W/D

Key Stat: Sunderland have failed to score in their last three home games in the Premier League.

Key Player: Jermain Defoe – Sunderland’s main goal threat has netted 14 goals in 31 games this season and is playing a key role in their efforts to remain in the Premier League.

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Score Prediction

Sunderland 2-1 Chelsea – Sunderland are desperately chasing three points here and their performances over the last eight games would warrant them getting a win. Chelsea’s performance is unlikely to be as intense as Monday’s and they may get caught out yet again this season if they are not fully focused.

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2014/15 Premier League Review: Hull City

Premier League Final Position: 18th 

Review

The 2014/15 season was a difficult one for Hull City fans to take and the side never really got going. The Tigers won on the opening day but then had a run five games before their next win came and winless streaks became a feature of their season. Their longest winless run came between October 18 and December 20, where Steve Bruce’s failed to take all three points in ten. The Tigers only registered eight wins all season, drew 11 and lost 19 games and their tally of 35 points was two worse than last season. They did show in patches in the season they were capable of picking up points from difficult games but ultimately Bruce’s side never had enough to stay up.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

1-0 win over Liverpool – one of the better moments of Hull’s season. This gave them some hope in their battle against relegation but, unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough.

Worst Moment

Losing both home and away to Burnley. To avoid the drop it is essential to pick up points from teams around you in the league and taking points from both these games could have made all the difference.

Player of the Year

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Ahmed Elmohamady – the winger featured in all 38 of the season and his work-rate was impressive. If Hull can keep players with his mentality they will have a chance of bouncing back next season.

Biggest Win 

Hull City 2-0 Crystal Palace (Oct 4, 2014)
Sunderland 0-2 Hull City (Dec 26, 2014)
Hull City 2-0 Everton (Jan 1, 2015)
Hull City 2-0 Aston Villa (Feb 10, 2015)
Crystal Palace 0-2 Hull City (Apr 25, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Manchester United 3-0 Hull City (Nov 29, 2014)
West Ham United 3-0 Hull City (Jan 18, 2015)
Hull City 0-3 Newcastle United (Jan 31, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Hull City have an awful lot to improve on if they are to come back into the Premier League. Steve Bruce will be hoping to avoid a mass-exodus, but at the same time there are players who Hull need to move on. Conceding was a real problem for Hull this season and if they are to stand any chance of a swift return to the Premier League they have to solidify their leaky defence.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester vs Swansea

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City vs. Swansea City

Venue: King Power Stadium – Saturday, April 18th – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 11/10 – Draw 23/10 – Swansea 5/2

Match Preview

It’s crunch time for Leicester City’s season as they play host this weekend to a Swansea side looking for their best ever Premier League finish.

Nigel Pearson’s Leicester have bridged the gap between fellow relegation strugglers recently with back-to-back wins and will be hoping to make it three on the bounce as they look to pull of a great escape.

They are currently three points off of safety and the battle should go down to the wire as Leicester can produce results with five of their last seven at home, starting with Swansea on Saturday.

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It is important that Leicester take something from this game as they have the worst home record in the Premier League this year. That will need to improve if they are to avoid the drop.

Leicester City’s home record in the Premier League: P14 – W3 – D5 – L6

Swansea could be without striker Bafetimbi Gomis on Saturday as the striker left the Everton match early following a hamstring injury last week, and his absence will be a blow to the Swans.

With not much to play for, and only a slight chance of European football, Swansea are arguably playing for pride now, with a best ever Premier League finish on the cards should they finish 8th.

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They equalled their record points tally in the Premier League with a draw at Everton last week and know another point will set a new record.

Swansea’s away record in the Premier League: P15 – W5 – D3 – L7

Garry Monk has done a stellar job up to now, and it’s not in his nature to set up a team that won’t attack so we’re hoping for an open game that should thrill.

Team News

Leicester City have no injury or suspension concerns for this week so Nigel Pearson has a full squad to pick from. However, we are expecting the same XI to play from last weekend’s win at West Brom, with David Nugent playing the number ten role.

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Swansea City will be without Kyle Naughton and Tom Carroll, who remain long-term absentees. Jefferson Montero, Nelson Oliveira and Bafetimbi Gomis are all doubts but Montero and Oliveira will be pushing for a start. Neil Taylor is out serving a suspension.

Key Points

Leicester’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/L/W/W

Swansea’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/W/W/D

Key Stat: The home team has won this fixture in the last seven meetings between the two sides in all competitions.

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Key Player: David Nugent – With an eye for goal and a knack for being in the right place at the right time, Nugent could be the difference in this one.

Score Prediction

Leicester City 2-2 Swansea City – We’re hoping this will be an open game with plenty of goals. Leicester need to try and pick up all three points but a score draw looks the most likely result against a solid Swansea side looking to set a record points tally in the Premier League.