Chelsea will be aiming to return to winning ways domestically and maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League by seeing off struggling Hull City.
It was always a lot to ask for the Blues to go unbeaten throughout the whole season, but their imperious form raised belief and even expectation among observers that they could emulate Arsenal’s achievement of 2003-04, but Newcastle United put an end to that talk with a wonderfully determined performance.
But Jose Mourinho will still be confident that his side have more than what it takes to win the title despite their lead having been cut to three points by Manchester City, and the response begun on Wednesday with a comfortable Champions League success over Sporting Lisbon.
With only two wins in the league all season, this is another massively difficult game for Hull, who are now in the bottom three with manager Steve Bruce cursing their luck as well as some costly errors, and only a penalty miss spared them from defeat to West Bromwich Albion, one of their direct rivals.
The return of Abel Hernandez was not enough for the Tigers to regain their cutting edge, and they need him to fire again soon if their squad is to reach its full potential.
Nemanja Matic returns from a one-match ban for Chelsea, but Cesc Fabregas serves one of his own after picking up his fifth booking of the season on Tyneside.
Hull will be without Mohamed Diame until after Christmas because of a knee injury, and Robert Snodgrass is alongside him on the sidelines.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Chelsea