Sunderland face Chelsea in Saturday’s late kick off and will be hoping to go their fourth consecutive game unbeaten. The Black Cats sit in 14th place but only three points above the relegation zone. A loss against Chelsea could see them slip in to the drop zone, however a win could edge them closer to the top half.
Seb Larsson has been one of the most encouraging parts of Sunderland’s season thus far, showing plenty of energy throughout. Larsson has completed the sixth most sprints of any Premier League player, having sprinted 704 times in total this season. Larsson has also covered more ground than the rest of his squad (122.9km) and ranks inside the division’s top 20 for distance covered, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Steven Fletcher is Sunderland’s top scorer so far this season. The Scotsman has scored four goals, averaging a goal every 187 minutes, which is almost exactly a one in two ratio. Fletcher’s goals have largely come down to his shooting, and the striker has managed to test the goalkeeper and according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index has recorded 60% of his shots on target so far this season. Fletcher is 21/5 to score any time with 888sport.
John O’Shea has recorded some impressive statistics from the heart of the Sunderland defence this season, and ranks as the 14th most accurate passer of anyone who has featured in every game so far. O’Shea has completed 85.5% of his passes over the first twelve matches. Only three defenders rank above him in pass success rate, his two opponents Gary Cahill and John Terry, as well as Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.
Sunderland (from): Mannone, Pantilimon, Brown, Coates, O’Shea, Reveillere, Vergini, Alvarez, Bridcutt, Buckley, Cabral, Cattermole, Gomez, Johnson, Larsson, Mavrias, Rodwell, Altidore, Fletcher, Wickham.