Benitez has been in the job only for a few weeks and is yet to win a Premier League match with Chelsea. But the Blues should be confident enough after thrashing Nordsjaelland 6-1 in midweek.
The Londoners have not won in seven league matches, the poor run dating back to 1995. This dreadful run has taken them to third in the standings and will drop down to sixth with another loss.
Sunderland, on the other hand, have won only two in 22 league games and are currently placed a point above the relegation zone.
Black Cats striker Steven Fletcher is in contention for the clash after suffering an ankle injury. Defender John O'Shea is likely to start having overcome a calf problem.
Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard will return to action after recovering from a calf injury while striker Daniel Sturridge continues to be sidelined with a hamstring problem.
*Chelsea have won 14 of the last 15 Premier League games against Sunderland.
*Sunderland have won one game in their last five home games.
Sunderland (4-4-2): Mignolet-Bardsley, Cuellar, O'Shea, Rose-Larsson, Gardner, McClean, Johnson-Sessegnon, Fletcher.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech-Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole-Ramires, Oscar-Hazard, Mata, Lampard-Torres.