Chelsea vs Sunderland: STARTING XI – Boss Uses VERY STRONG 5-4-1 Formation

Sam Allardyce’s major concern ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge regards Sebastian Coates, who is doubtful due to illness.

Big Sam has favoured a 5-4-1 formation in recent weeks, so with Younes Kaboul expected to return after missing the 1-0 defeat to Watford also because of illness, Billy Jones may continue alongside John O’Shea in a three-man defence.

If Allardyce opts to revert to a back four, Jones and DeAndre Yedlin will likely battle it out for the starting berth at right-back, with Yedlin and Patrick van Aanholt expected starters should Big Sam continue with wing-backs.

Ola Toivonen could start alongside Yann M’Vila once again in central midfield, with Jack Rodwell another option in the engine room. Steven Fletcher should keep his place as the central striker, with Adam Johnson and Jermain Defoe likely to come into contention to replace Fabio Borini and Duncan Watmore in the starting XI out wide.

Lee Cattermole (back) and Sebastian Larsson (knee) remain out.

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