Chelsea can move another step closer to their first Premier League title in five years by claiming their third straight victory when they face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
The home side need the points for very different reasons and will be aware that their lengthy run without a victory on their own turf must end soon if they are to avoid relegation. That said, there have been signs of life on the road in the past eight days, with seven goals yielding four precious points.
They are still in the bottom three, but not many would have expected the points return that they managed at West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa. They were under the cosh at times in the latter and may be again here, but the R’s will be looking to be as clinical in front of goal as they were in the West Midlands.
The fabulous football that characterised Chelsea’s first half of the season has not been seen for some time, but it has not mattered as the Blues look set to reclaim the domestic honours. Only a dramatic collapse would see them relinquish their seven-point lead with a game in hand.
Securing victory over Stoke City last time out proved to be hard work, and as Diego Costa suffered a hamstring injury, it was left to Loic Remy to put away a winner gifted to them by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. The Frenchman began the season at QPR and will be given an interesting reception by the home supporters.
Rio Ferdinand is ruled out for QPR, who are unlikely to risk fellow defender Richard Dunne despite his recovery from a knee injury that required surgery.
Costa is set to be out of the end of the month for Chelsea, so Remy is likely to deputise. Cesc Fabregas is fit but will have to play with a mask due to a broken nose. John Obi Mikel is still sidelined.
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