Chelsea and Sunderland are two of
England's biggest clubs, but their fortunes in recent years have been
very different. Whereas Chelsea have established themselves as one of
the top clubs in Europe over the last two decades, Sunderland have
been relegated and then promoted on a regular basis since the Premier
League began more than twenty years ago.
Though the current status of Chelsea and Sunderland would point to a comfortable home win, the Black Cats often upset the form book, and did so at Stamford Bridge as recently as the 2013-14 season. When needing a win to keep their hopes of survival alive, Sunderland achieved an incredible 2-1 victory.
The Blues are Premier League champions, but they have begun the defence of their title in unconvincing form. Sunderland, meanwhile, continue to frustrate their long-suffering fans, and seem to have an unfortunate habit of just finding some kind of form towards the end of the season. Away games also don't come much more difficult than Chelsea, so anything other than a straightforward victory for the Blues would be a surprise.
Sunderland may not threaten to win the League title these days, but they are a club with a history just as impressive as Chelsea's in domestic football. The Black Cats have been English champions 6 times and, though their last title was won in 1936, there are only five clubs that have been champions more often. Sunderland have also won the FA Cup twice - in 1937 and 1973. The latter victory coming in arguably the most memorable of all post-War finals, as a seemingly invincible Leeds United side were humbled by their then Second Division opponents.
Chelsea have a far superior record than Sunderland in European competitions, as they won the Champions League in 2012, and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 and 1998. The Blues also won the UEFA Super Cup in 1999. Chelsea didn't become English champions until 1955, but they have won the title four times in the Premier League era. Chelsea also had to wait a long time before they won their first FA Cup in 1970, which they secured after a replay against Leeds. The Blues have now won the FA Cup on six occasions, and have won the League Cup four times. Five of the club's FA Cup wins and three of their League Cup wins have come in the Premier League era, which has been a time of continual success for the Londoners. Indeed, only Manchester United can claim to have been more successful since the Premier League was created than Chelsea.