The Blues could leapfrog Arsenal and Manchester City if they secure victory in Saturday's early kickoff but face a team that has lost just twice at home in the league this season.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 has won its last four matches in all competitions, form that has seen it rise to third in the table. Premier League wins over Swansea City, Liverpool and Southampton were followed by a 2-0 FA Cup triumph at Derby County on Sunday.
Chelsea looks to be clicking at the right time of the season and has a series of players on top form, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian all excelling. The Stamford Bridge outfit has also been terrific at the back, conceding just once in its 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 season, as well as 6-0 victors over Fulham in its last outing at the KC Stadium. The Yorkshire club was a 3-1 winner against Liverpool on Dec. 1 and led 2-0 against Manchester United on Boxing Day before losing 3-2.
Hull has only conceded six goals in 10 home matches this season but has 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 out for Chelsea, midfielder Marco van Ginkel (knee) is a long-term absentee, and Ryan Bertrand (knock) is a doubt.
Hull has not beaten the Blues in the teams' last nine meetings, with the Tigers' most recent triumph being a 3-0 success in October 1988. On its three trips there in the last six years, Chelsea has won two. But the 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.