Premier League Picks for Chelsea vs. Sunderland

Steven Suarez

Thursday, April 17, 2014 2:17 PM GMT

Fresh off a wonderful result at the Etihad, the Black Cats hope to play the role of spoiler once again when they take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend. The soccer odds are in the Blues' favor, but can Sunderland make life difficult?

Odds Overview

This will be the late match on Saturday and the action will be broadcast live on NBC Sports for you American viewers.

As for the soccer betting odds, the Blues are overwhelming favorites at anywhere from -500 to -600, with Sunderland listed in a wide range from +1400 to +1700 and a draw approaching +700 at most sportsbooks. 

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Chelsea
Since losing 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, the Blues have been able to piece together three straight wins, including a 2-0 victory in the return leg at home which saw them advance on to the semis.

Last week Chelsea had their work cut out for them in a hard-fought 1-0 away win over Swansea City. Demba Ba's second-half goal was the difference.

Swansea's Chico Flores had received a red card after only 16 minutes, yet the Blues still found it difficult to break down the hosts and find the needed goal. The Swans actually managed to have more shorts on goal than Chelsea despite having only 10 men.

However, Ba scored another hugely important goal and as a result the Blues have been able to keep the pressure on Liverpool in the title race. The two sides will meet up for an incredible showdown at Anfield on the 27th of this month.

First things first though. Chelsea has to get a result against Sunderland, a team that looked strong against Manchester City during the week. The Blues would love to have Eden Hazard back from injury, but there's a chance Jose Mourinho could play it safe and rest his star for the Champions League date with Atletico days later. 

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Sunderland
This is why the Premier League is the best league in world soccer.

Not many would have given Sunderland a chance whatsoever to hang with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, yet that's exactly what they did. The Black Cats allowed a goal in the second minute, but responded amazingly well and were unlucky not to even up the score earlier.

It came in the second half though, with Connor Wickham scoring twice and setting the stage for a miraculous result. However, City equalized late and the match ended at a 2-2 draw.

Still, it was a terrific point for Gus Poyet's side and a performance they could possibly build from to help them escape the relegation zone. They still have to play Chelsea and then Manchester United away, but they also have Cardiff, West Brom and Swansea at home. The Black Cats still have a chance.

For the most part, Sunderland has struggled away from home, recording three wins, five draws and nine defeats in 17 fixtures, while posting 17 goals for and 32 goals against. Can Poyet come up with some more magic this weekend and defy the numbers? 

 

Premier League Pick
Sunderland looked excellent against Manchester City and we think they could pose problems for Mourinho's side as well.

The Black Cats are in desperation mode at the moment, fighting for their survival in the top flight, and that means we know a full effort will be there all over the pitch.

Still, it's hard to discount the quality of Chelsea here, especially since they've had practically a full week to rest and prepare for this match. For our soccer picks, we're going with the Blues to earn the three points in a well-contested 90 minutes.

Soccer Pick: Chelsea 2 Sunderland 1