Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has admitted that it has been difficult to motivate his players with the title secured – but he wants to finish with a victory against Sunderland tomorrow.
The Black Cats are the only team to have beaten him in a Premier League contest at Stamford Bridge, winning 2-1 last season.
“When you reach the objective it’s hard to keep them in this level, competitive animals,” Mourinho said. “It’s a bit like predators. When they hunt, after that the predator relax a little bit. The guys are going to try to do everything to win the match.”
Playmaker Eden Hazard has played in all 37 of Chelsea’s Premier League matches so far, but could miss the 38th and last due to undergoing emergency dental surgery to remove three wisdom teeth this week.
“His mouth is in trouble. I don’t know if he can (play),” said Mourinho, named manager of the year yesterday.
Keeper Petr Cech is also doubtful for what could be his final match after 11 years as a Chelsea player.
Although the 33-year-old has one year remaining on his contract, he may ask to leave as he has been displaced by Thibaut Courtois as first choice this term.
Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly chasing Cech’s signature.
“I’d like him to stay. I have no preferences in (the) case he leaves,” Mourinho said.
Cesc Fabregas is suspended, but striker Diego Costa is expected to start a second successive game after recovering from his hamstring problem.
Kurt Zouma (knee), Ramires (kidney) and Oscar (thigh) are out injured.
Chelsea (from): Courtois, Cech, Ivanovic, Luis, Ake, Hazard, Drogba, Mikel, Remy, Costa, Matic, Willian, Cuadrado, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Blackman, Loftus-Cheek, Brown, Christiansen, Boga.