With the season nearing its end, what's your thoughts on Chelsea's campaign as whole? It's certainly been a turbulent one...
I know this is a little rude to say to fans whose side is struggling to avoid relegation (good luck), but it's been crap. There are certain expectations on teams that have cantered to a league and cup double, and Chelsea have sunk so far below those expectations it has been unreal. Matic and Hazard, two of our most important players from last year, have shown up for a grand total of forty-five minutes all season and that was on Monday. The football has been bad, the results have been bad and it doesn't really look like any of the players give much of a toss.
Antonio Conte will soon be arriving at Stamford Bridge. Do you feel like it's a good appointment? I'm certainly intrigued to see how he'll fare in the Premier League.
It's a bit hard to say how someone will adjust to a new culture, but there's a lot to like about Conte. He did us pretty good in Champions League when he was managing Juventus and you can't really argue with his Serie A record. Word has it he'll be a little defensive and boring, but I'll take boring and winning over exciting, because for us this year, exciting has mostly meant other teams wandering through the centre and scoring stupid goals. He's also apparently incredibly scary, and I would like certain Chelsea players to have the fear of God himself instilled in their souls.
After brushing Bournemouth aside and ending Tottenham's title hopes, are we facing Chelsea at a bad time? Will they be as highly motivated against Sunderland as they were against Spurs?
No. We hate Spurs and we needed to kill them. We don't particularly hate Sunderland (especially now that Phil Bardsley has f***ed off), so we won't be playing hard out of pure spite. I wouldn't expect us to be at nearly the same intensity as we were against Tottenham. That said, Tottenham are much better at football than Sunderland are, so that might cancel out for the lack of potential schadenfreude.
A bit of devils advocate here, but does part of you wonder where that commitment against Spurs was, during the early stages of the season?
Yes. A lot of me wonders where it was. That said, having gone through a season of utter rubbish, having Eden Hazard turn up just to f**k Spurs was at least a little funny and redeeming.
Who should Sunderland fans be most fearful of, going into the game?
Diego Costa. Not necessarily because he'll score, but he's definitely the most likely player to go mental and attack the crowd like a one-man riot. On the pitch, possibly Willian, although he hasn't been at the top of his game for a while.
On that note, is there anyone in the Sunderland side that worries you?
Not really, which is mostly to say that everyone on the Sunderland team has the potential to cause us problems, because that's how the season's going. If I'm going to pick one, it'll be Jermain Defoe, but anyone scoring against this defence would be entirely unsurprising.
Any memories of past visits to the Stadium of Light/Roker Park?
I was at the Stadium of Light for the League Cup game in December 2013. You won in extra time thanks to Ki. I was very annoyed by the goal, but I was more annoyed that the match went to extra time in the first place, because it was really cold and I was worried my toes might snap off.
How do you see yourselves lining up for the game?
This is a difficult question, because we're in play-the-kids mode which means any of the starters might get rested for no real reason. A full-strength Chelsea is a 4-2-3-1 with Courtois in goal, Azpilicueta-Terry-Cahill-Ivanovic left to right in defence, probably Fabregas-Mikel in midfield, and Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Costa as an attacking four. But instead you could see Baba Rahman, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bertrand Traore, etc etc etc. All up to the boss at this point.
Finally, a prediction please?
We don't have anything to play for and you do so perhaps a hard-fought 1-1 or a narrow Sunderland win.