GARY ROWELL: I hope Borini plays for Sunderland against Chelsea

Sunderland welcome the Premier League's most in-form team when table-toppers Chelsea provide the opposition tomorrow night.

Tuesday, 13th December 2016, 8:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:57 pm
Fabio Borini: Would be great to see him back. Picture by FRANK REID

We’ve had some great games with the Blues in recent years.

I remember the 4-3 defeat a few years back, the League Cup quarter-final and my favourite from last season, the 3-2 win that had everything and electrified the Stadium of Light.

That match is definitely among the top 10 games since the ground opened – not only as it was such a crucial win but because of the incredible noise and atmosphere the fans created.

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Sunderland may be massive underdogs tomorrow night, but they have won their last two home games, something that does not happen too often, never mind three in a row but I think we’d all take a draw right now from such a daunting fixture.

The names in the Chelsea team trip off the tongue, Hazard, Costa, Willian etc but the player I’m looking forward to seeing more than any other is ex-Sunderland loanee Marcos Alonso.

The Spaniard is a player who should never have been allowed to leave Sunderland, he should have been snapped up after his successful loan spell two seasons ago and the fee would have been a fraction of what Chelsea paid for him.

Another bad decision in what has been a string of them on recruitment down the years.

The Chelsea visit is the first of two home games in quick succession and with the festive period not that far away, this is when the strength of the squad is tested to its limit.

So I was delighted to see Fabio Borini back on the bench at Swansea and while I doubt he’ll be ready to start, when he does get up to speed, his energy and work-rate will fill the void left by Duncan Watmore.

Sunderland have a huge challenge tomorrow night – not many will give them a chance but if the team play like they did in this fixture last season and the crowd get the stadium rocking like it was in that game then, who knows, another upset could be on the cards.