Chelsea make the short trip to west London rivals Fulham on Saturday evening, with Frank Lampard’s side in desperate need of three points if they’re to harbour genuine top four aspirations.
The Cottagers are in need of the points for very different reasons. Scott Parker’s men have looked much more solid in recent weeks, though their torrid start to the campaign means they still find themselves in the bottom three.
This game had originally been scheduled for Friday evening, though Fulham’s rearranged clash with Tottenham on Wednesday night meant the game was pushed back in order to allow an extra day’s rest.
Whether the Cottagers’ midweek league commitments play a part in this one remains to be seen. Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming clash.
When is kick off? Saturday 16 January
What time is kick off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where is it played? Craven Cottage
TV channel/live stream? Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Premier League (UK), fuboTV(US)
Referee? Peter Bankes
VAR? Adam Nunn
Both Mario Lemina and Tom Cairney remain sidelined for the home side, though Aleksandar Mitrovic could be fit enough to make the Fulham bench.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek isn’t eligible to play against his parent club, meaning Ademola Lookman is likely to be drafted into the starting XI.
The visitors will be without the suspended N’golo Kante who serves a one-match ban, with Jorginho expected to fill the void left by the Frenchman. Meanwhile, the return to fitness of both Reece James and Andreas Christensen means Lampard has options available to him in defence.
Frank Lampard has insisted that Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a future at Chelsea once his loan at Fulham is over.
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Match preview ahead of the top of the table clash between Liverpool and Manchester United in the Premier League at Anfield.
Fulham (5-4-1): Areola; Tete, Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson; Cordova-Reid, Reed, Anguissa; Cavaleiro, Lookman.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Mendy; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount; Pulisic, Werner, Ziyech.
Tottenham 1-1 Fulham – Premier League – (13/01)
Queens Park Rangers 0-2 Fulham – FA Cup third round – (09/01)
Fulham 0-0 Southampton – Premier League – (26/12)
Newcastle 1-1 Fulham – Premier League – (19/12)
Fulham 0-0 Brighton – Premier League – (16/12)
Chelsea 4-0 Morecambe – FA Cup third round – (10/01)
Chelsea 1-3 Manchester City – Premier League – (03/01)
Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa – Premier League – (28/12)
Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea – Premier League – (26/12)
Chelsea 3-0 West Ham – Premier League – (21/12)
While Fulham’s recent upturn in form has seen them go unbeaten in their previous five league games, they’ve still mustered just five points throughout their mini resurgence; with Parker’s men finding it difficult to break teams down.
Chelsea’s woes have been well-documented in recent weeks, but the Blues will be much the fresher of the two sides having had almost a week’s rest, and that could play a part in what’s likely to be a nervy affair.
Prediction: Fulham 1-2 Chelsea