Chelsea v Sunderland

Chelsea are expected to have Guus Hiddink at the helm when the London club locks horns with fellow stragglers Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich made the decision to part ways with the Portuguese tactician on Thursday, following what has been a truly dismal start to their Premier League title defence.

The Londoners find themselves languishing down in 16th place with 15 points from their opening 16 fixtures, a run that leaves them just two points clear of the dreaded drop zone ahead of Saturday's round of fixtures.

Sunderland, meanwhile, have recorded back-to-back defeats after recording two wins on the trot towards the end of November.

Sam Allardyce's men are second from bottom, but a win against the Blues could lift them out of the relegation place, depending on results elsewhere.

On the team news front, Chelsea will hand a late fitness test to attacker Eden Hazard after the Belgium international limped off in the first half of his side's defeat to Leicester with a suspected knee injury.

If Hazard is not passed to play, summer signing Pedro will in all likelihood start in his absence. Striker Radamel Falcao is close to making a return from a muscular injury but this game may come too soon for him.

Sunderland will hand late fitness tests to defenders Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Coates (both illness), but Sebastian Larsson (knee) and Lee Cattermole (back) remain on the treatment table.

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