Chelsea make the long trip up to the North East looking for three more vital Premier League points against Sunderland.
The Blues have enjoyed a good start to the season under their new manager Andre Villas-Boas and they will be hoping that a solid away performance will further strengthen their claims for the title, and the side was boosted with the signing of Raul Meireles from Liverpool on transfer deadline day.
Sunderland by contrast have struggled but they did make a record number of signings over the summer. Jon O’Shea and Wes Brown have been drafted in from Manchester United and have provided a much needed injection of confidence at the back for Steve Bruce while the ever present Lee Cattermole will be biting at the ankles in midfield.
It is up front that Bruce has his problems however, with Asamoah Gyan yet to find the net this season and the Ghanaian looks distinctively off colour this term. Nicklas Bendtner has been brought in on a season long loan from Arsenal and it remains to be seen whether he can appease the fans and the manager with his performances.
Didier Drogba is likely to miss the game following his concussion in the match with Norwich last week, while strike partner Fernando Torres badly needs a goal for his confidence. The Spaniard is likely to be given another chance to open his account while new signing Juan Mata will be waiting in the wings if needed.
Things could make a dramatic turn for the worst for Steve Bruce if the side fails to come away with any points and the pressure is really starting to build.
Whether or not Bentner is the answer for the Black Cat’s scoring problems remains to be seen, but one thing’s for certain a Chelsea victory would definitely turn the pressure up a notch at the Stadium of Light.