May 19, 2017

Chelsea v. Sunderland Preview  (Sky Sports)

Antonio ConteChelsea will officially be crowned Premier League champions and lift the trophy after their clash with relegated Sunderland on Sunday.

Antonio Conte's men put together a remarkable run of 26 wins from 31 matches to storm to the title and if they beat Sunderland they will become the first side to win 30 games in a Premier League season. No side has won 30 games in a top-flight season since Liverpool in 1978-79.

The transformation under Conte in his first season managing in England has been impressive. This year's champions won 40 more points, 17 more games and scored 21 more goals than last season where it all went wrong under Jose Mourinho.

Many will be expecting them to steamroll a Sunderland side whose 10-year stay in the top flight will come to an end after the game in west London.

Team news

Chelsea captain John Terry must wait to learn if he will start or be a substitute in his final Stamford Bridge appearance.

The 36-year-old defender, who will leave Chelsea this summer after 22 years, made his first Premier League start since September and 716th Blues appearance in last Monday's win over Watford.

But head coach Conte, who has no injury concerns, may revert to his first-choice line-up to prepare for the FA Cup final with Arsenal on May 27.

Victor Anichebe is out with a hamstring injury for Sunderland as is George Honeyman with a back problem.

Paddy McNair, Jan Kirchhoff and Duncan Watmore are all long-term absentees but Steven Pienaar could be in line for a return.

Opta stats

Chelsea have won 20 of their last 24 Premier League games against Sunderland (D1 L3), although two of those losses have come in the last six contests.

The Black Cats have lost a total of 22 Premier League games against the Blues; only Manchester United have defeated them more times (23).

These two sides have met twice on the final day in the Premier League era, with the most recent encounter coming in 2014-15 at Stamford Bridge, when Chelsea also ended the season as Champions.

Only twice in the Premier League era have Chelsea ended the season with defeat at Stamford Bridge on the final day; a 2-3 loss against Blackburn in 1995-96 and a 1-3 loss in against Aston Villa 2001-02.

In contrast, Sunderland have only ever won once on the final day of a Premier League season (D3 L11) - a 3-0 victory against West Ham in the 2010-11 campaign.

This will be David Moyes' 499th game as a manager in the Premier League (P498 W196 D135 L167, winning 723 points)

Terry could make his final league appearance for Chelsea. The Chelsea captain has made 491 Premier League appearances for the club, more than any other player (63% win percentage)

Chelsea could break the Premier League record for most wins in a season (30), with the current record 29 by Chelsea in both 2004/05 and 2005/06).

Only two other sides have won 30+ league games in top-flight season (Spurs 31 in 1960/61 and Liverpool 30 in 1978/79) & Chelsea would be the first to do it in a 38-game season.

Should Chelsea win this match, they'll have won home and away against 12 different teams in the Premier League this season. This would equal the record in a Premier League season alongside Chelsea in 2004-05 and Manchester United in 2006-07.

Merson predicts

I think all the Chelsea big boys will play in this now after a lot were rested against Watford on Monday. I thought Sunderland played really well for 70 minutes against Arsenal but they are not in the same league as Chelsea.

I expect Chelsea will be miles ahead of Sunderland.

PAUL PREDICTS: 4-0 (7/1 with Sky Bet)

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