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Chelsea vs Sunderland. Premier League.

Stamford BridgeAttendance41,562.

Chelsea 3

  • B Ivanovic (5th minute)
  • Pedro (13th minute)
  • Oscar (50th minute pen)

Sunderland 1

  • F Borini (52nd minute)

Chelsea v Sunderland preview: Blues begin life without Jose Mourinho

Willian (L) and Diego Costa (R) of Chelsea show their dejection after conceding the first goal to Stoke City during
Image: Willian (left) and Diego Costa (right) of Chelsea show their dejection after conceding the first goal to Stoke City during

Chelsea will begin life without Jose Mourinho for a second time when they host Sunderland on Saturday.

Mourinho paid the price for the Blues' dismal start to the season when he was sacked on Thursday, eight years after his first spell at the club came to an end.

Guus Hiddink, who managed Chelsea on an interim basis in 2009, is expected to replace Mourinho.

The defending champions are just a point above the relegation zone after nine defeats from 16 league matches.

Sunderland are one of only four teams below them in the table and have picked up more points than Chelsea since the start of October.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce says he's shocked by Chelsea's decision to sack Jose Mourinho

However, after wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke they have lost back-to-back games against Arsenal and Watford.

Team news

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Eden Hazard is a doubt for Chelsea after limping off with a hip injury in the defeat at Leicester, while Radamel Falcao is unlikely to overcome a muscle issue in time.

Lee Cattermole is still sidelined for Sunderland with a recurrence of a long-standing back injury while Sebastian Larsson is at least two weeks from a return with a knee problem.

Gus Hiddink is tipped to take the Chelsea post
Image: Gus Hiddink is tipped to take the Chelsea post

Sebastian Coates is a doubt after missing training on Thursday due to illness, but Younes Kaboul has recovered and is expected to be fit.

Opta stats

Chelsea have won 18 and lost two of their last 21 Premier League games against Sunderland.

Chelsea have lost as many Premier League games this season (nine) as in 2013-14 (six) and 2014-15 (three) seasons combined.

In four of the last five Premier League games between Sunderland and Chelsea, the team who scored first ended up losing the match while the other ended 0-0.

Managers from across the Premier League and Football League pay tribute to Jose Mourinho after he was sacked

Diego Costa has scored just three goals in 13 Premier League appearances this season - in his first 13 league appearances of 2014-15 he had netted 12 goals.

Sunderland have allowed their opponents a league-high 99 shots on target in the league this season.

Merson's prediction

Paul Merson's predictions

Paul Merson's predictions

The Magic Man predicts the results of all 10 Premier League matches this weekend.

The shackles are off Sunderland, they'll stick 10 men behind the ball and frustrate Chelsea, but with Mourinho gone, the shackles are also off Chelsea with the hope of a fresh start following the nightmare season so far.

I back Chelsea to bounce back each week and they don't do it. I've seen Chelsea enough this season.

They have not lost nine games for no reason. Mourinho came out and said that they won't reach the top four.

Every Chelsea fan was probably thinking before the Bournemouth or Leicester game: "Let's just win this and we'll go on a seven-game winning streak and reach the top four eventually." But Jose has straight up ruled it out. What sort of message was that to the fans?

Jamie Redknapp joins Ed Chamberlin to preview the Saturday Night Football clash between Newcastle and Aston Villa, as well as looking ahead to the 3pm kickoffs

PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)

Betting

Nothing less than a victory will do for Chelsea as the 2/7 shots host Sunderland, who have drifted out to 11/1 since Mourinho's departure.

Monday night's defeat at Leicester has left Chelsea only a point above the drop zone and the Blues are now as big as 14/1 to secure an unlikely top-four finish. Sunderland remain odds-on to be relegated this term and their form on the road offers little hope of a change at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea won this fixture 3-1 last season and a victory by a two-goal margin is available at 11/4. Costa was on target in that fixture and can be backed at 3/1 to open the scoring or 11/10 to score in a Chelsea win. Steven Fletcher and Jermain Defoe are both 7/2 to score anytime for the Black Cats.

Check out the tips from pundits Jamie Redknapp, Charlie Nicholas, Matt Le Tissier and Phil Thompson here.

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