Chelsea travel to their local rivals knowing that victory would put them level with Spurs in the race for the final Champions League spot while a win for the home side would see them move from tenth to seventh.
Both are in decent form having won their last two games though it would be reasonable to state that Chelsea’s need for the three points – and in particular their manager Roberto Di Matteo’s need – is more urgent than the hosts’.
Fulham will be underdogs having only beaten Chelsea once in the last 33 years.
Bryan Ruiz will be missing for the Cottagers as he suffered a suspected broken foot during the weekend win at Bolton.
Vastly experienced midfielder Danny Murphy is expected to return after illness and strikers Pavel Pogrebnyak and Orlando Sa will undergo late fitness tests to ascertain whether they are fit to play.
Midfielder Steve Sidwell, defender Zdenek Grygera and strikers Andrew Johnson and Eddie Johnson stay on the injured list.
Having sat out Chelsea’s last gasp win over Wigan; John Terry (cracked ribs), Frank Lampard (thigh strain) and Ashley Cole (sprained ankle) will undergo match day fitness tests before their participation is confirmed
Probable starting line-ups:
Fulham: Schwarzer, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, S Kelly, Duff, Dempsey, Murphy, Diarra, Etuhu, Dembele.
Chelsea: Cech, Cahill, Bertrand, Ivanovic, Luiz, Malouda, Raul Mereiles, Mikel, Drogba, Kalou, Mata.