Hull City - Chelsea Preview: In-form Blues could go top with win

The visitors could leapfrog Arsenal and Manchester City if they secure victory in Saturday's early kick-off but face a team who have lost just twice at home in the league this term
Chelsea's excellent recent form will be tested by Hull City when the two sides meet at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho's side have won their last four matches in all competitions, form that has seen them rise to third in the table.

Premier League wins over Swansea City, Liverpool and Southampton were followed by a 2-0 FA Cup success at Derby County on Sunday.

Chelsea look to be clicking at the right time of the season and have a series of players on top form, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian all excelling. The Stamford Bridge outfit have also been terrific at the back, conceding just once in their last five matches, with John Terry back to his best form.

Mourinho's men will be wary of Hull, though, with Steve Bruce's side impressive at home against some of the division's top sides this term as well as 6-0 victors over Fulham on their last outing at the KC Stadium.

5/1 Chelsea are 5/1 to beat Hull City 1-0 with Paddy Power
The Yorkshire club were 3-1 winners against Liverpool on December 1 and led 2-0 against Manchester United on Boxing Day before losing 3-2.

Hull have only conceded six goals in 10 home matches this season but have struggled on the road and will enjoy a return to home comforts.

"You look at our recent home game against Manchester United," Hull defender Curtis Davies told the club's official website. "The way we started that game and really went for it is the same attitude we should show against Chelsea.

"But, if we're able to get a goal or two, hopefully we'll be able to hold onto it for a bit longer than we did against Manchester United.

"I always look forward to these games."

Defender Paul McShane will miss up to four weeks for Hull with an ankle injury, while winger Sone Aluko (Achilles) and striker Matty Fryatt (hamstring) will not be involved either, but Robbie Brady (groin) could return.

Branislav Ivanovic (knee) and Frank Lampard (muscle injury) will be absent for Chelsea, midfielder Marco van Ginkel (knee) is still some way off playing again and Ryan Bertrand (knock) is a doubt.

Hull have not beaten the Blues in their last nine meetings, with their most recent triumph being a 3-0 success in October 1988. On their three trips there in the last six years, Chelsea have won two but the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at the KC Stadium in February 2010.

Lampard and Oscar were on target when Chelsea beat Hull 2-0 on the opening weekend of the season at Stamford Bridge.