Dec 4, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT
Two fiery Latin manager will go head-to-head at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday as Gus Poyet’s Sunderland side host Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea (watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra) in what’s sure to be an intense battle.
Both teams need the win for entirely different reasons, as Sunderland are rock bottom of the Premier League table, while Chelsea are in second and just four points behind leader Arsenal.
Since Poyet replaced Paolo Di Canio the Mackems have recovered but still sit five points from safety ahead of the clash with the West London club. Only two defeats in their last five games proves Poyet has had an instant impact in the North East but his side face a stiff test as in-form Chelsea arrive on Wearside.
Mourino’s men breezed past Southampton on Sunday thanks to a sublime second half display and the ‘Special One’ is likely to use his vast squad to his advantage with plenty of lineup changes possible with a busy week of fixtures ahead.
In teams news, Sunderland start with USMNT striker Jozy Altidore as he replaces Steven Fletcher up front. As for Chelsea, Willian and Frank Lampard come into the lineup for Michael Essien and Oscar as Mourinho goes for a more attacking look to his side.
Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Dossena, O’Shea (C), Brown, Ki, Colback, Gardner, Borini, Giaccherini, Altidore.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Lampard; Willian, Mata, Hazard; Torres
- NWSL Digest: Reign, Flash flying as we move past Week 1 0
- Henry, Sam goals see New York break into the win column 0
- Real Madrid beat Barcelona to win Copa del Rey, as Bale’s brilliance seals it 3
- It’s official: Atlanta gets Major League Soccer’s 22nd franchise 1
- Manchester City 2-2 Sunderland: Two Wickham goals, late Nasri equalizer leave sides even (video) 3
- Everton 2-3 Crystal Palace: Toffees’ top four hopes take huge hit 6