John O'Shea and Seb Larsson may miss Dick Advocaat's debut as Sunderland manager with a knock and ankle injury respectively.
Sunderland have parted company with head coach Gus Poyet this afternoon.
Sunderland captain John O'Shea has signed a two-year contract extension, extending his stay with the Black Cats until 2017.
Sunderland have signed Argentine defender Santiago Vergini on loan from Club Estudiantes de La Plata until the end of the season.
Sunderland captain John O'Shea is expected to be fit for the match against Chelsea despite suffering a muscle injury against Aston Villa.
Sunderland XI: Westwood, Bardsley, Dossena, O'Shea (c), Cuellar, Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Johnson, Altidore, Fletcher
Substitutes: Ki, Gardner, Celustka, Giaccherini, Roberge, Borini, Mannone
Sunderland AFC have confirmed via Twitter that they have parted ways with manager Paolo Di Canio, after the Italian manager could only muster 3 wins in 13 matches dating back to when he took over the club late last season.
Paolo Di Canio insists there are players at Sunderland with the right attitude and has urged everyone to follow the example set by stand-in captain John O'Shea.