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Hiddink says ailing champions Chelsea in relegation battle

Hiddink says ailing champions Chelsea in relegation battle

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LONDON (AP) — Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has mentioned a word never heard at Chelsea in the Premier League era: Relegation.

Asked Friday if Chelsea is in a relegation battle, Hiddink said: "It's (a) reality."

Chelsea, which fired Jose Mourinho last month, is six points above the relegation zone in 14th place, ahead of matches against Everton and Arsenal.

Hiddink says when he replaced Mourinho "we were one point off the line, relegation line, and now we have (a) little bit more" breathing space.

Chelsea was relegated in 1988 but instantly returned to the topflight. A team has never been relegated straight after winning the Premier League.

Meanwhile, both Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion were charged by the English Football Association on Friday with failing to control their players in Wednesday's 2-2 draw.

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