Chelsea remain just two points adrift of Liverpool after beating 10 man Swansea last Sunday. Chelsea failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage until Ba found the back of the net with just over 20 minutes left on the clock. The Blues are now 5 points ahead of rivals Manchester City with just four games remaining. With a run in that includes a visit to Anfield, Chelsea need to seize every opportunity they can and Mourinho will be pleased at the 3 points achieved against the Swans.
Demba Ba’s strike in the 68th minute was the second time inside a week that the striker has proved to be Chelsea’s match winner having scored the winner against Paris St-Germain in the Champions League. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he had 2 out of a possible 5 shots on target last week, that’s a 40% accuracy. Ba has scored 4 goals this season in 16 Premier League performances and has a shot accuracy of 45% so far this season; with 10 out of a possible 22 shots hitting the target.
Mohamed Salah looks to be settling in to life at Chelsea well as he attempts to fill the creative attacking void left by Hazard’s injury. Salah should have scored early on against Swansea but he failed to find the net from Ivanovic’s low cross. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he made 10 attacking contributions (shots on target, assists, dribbles and crosses) last week bringing his season total to 17 in 6 Premier League appearances.
Although Chelsea will be confident ahead of their clash with struggling Sunderland, they will be wary of Sunderland’s attacking threat which did so much damage to title hopefuls City. Chelsea skipper John Terry will take no chances when it comes to containing the likes of Johnson and Wickham. Terry leads the way in defensive contributions (tackles won, clearances, blocks and interceptions) for Chelsea this season with 291 to his name. He has won 28 out of a possible 36 tackles whilst committing 13 fouls.
Sunderland delivered a serious blow to Manchester City’s Premier League title ambitions as they forced a draw from the title contenders. Sunderland fans should be pleased at their side’s performance as they showed resilience and determination despite going 1-0 after just 2 minutes. However, they will feel frustrated that the Black Cats conceded with just 2 minutes left on the clock to level the match. Sunderland are currently at the bottom of the table with 26 points but with a game in hand on both Fulham and Cardiff.
Connor Wickham proved to be the Black Cats hero against Manchester City, bagging a brace in 10 minutes. Sunderland fans will be hoping the 21 year old can replicate his performance as Sunderland attempt to escape the drop. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has scored 2 goals this season in 9 appearances.
Sunderland’s star man this season has been Adam Johnson. The former Manchester City player looks threatening in both open play and from the set-piece. He has 8 goals this season and will be hoping that he can guide his team to Premier League safety. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has made 88 attacking contributions (shots on target, crosses, assists and dribbles) this season, including 29 crosses
Marco Alonso will once again play a defining role in Sunderland’s defence this weekend. The Spaniard won 6 out of a possible 8 tackles against City and has won 72% of the 67 tackles he has made in his 11 Premier League appearances. Alonso will be aware of the danger from Chelsea’s in form Salah and Ba.