Chelsea forward Didier Drogba is expected to face Fulham tonight despite receiving treatment for malaria this week. (kick-off 19.45 GMT)
The Ivorian striker featured in Sunday’s defeat to Liverpool despite complaining of a fever prior to the game, and manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Tuesday that the player had contracted the disease.
He said: “He has the virus and, obviously, he lost power and training. He lost his condition. He’s had treatment and now he’s OK. He’ll come back immediately in the best condition.
“I don’t know where he got it from. I gave him a few days off and he went on holiday for a few days, and then he has malaria. But it’s over now. He’s OK.”
Ancelotti is sweating over the fitness of Alex (knee), Michael Essien (toe), and Nicolas Anelka (back), while Frank Lampard (hernia) remains sidelined.
Fulham full-back Carlos Salcido is sidelined by an ankle injury sustained at the weekend, while fellow defender Chris Baird is ruled out with a thigh problem.
Last Premier League games:
Liverpool 0 CHELSEA 2: Cech, Ivanovic (Bosingwa 70), Terry, Alex, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Zhirkov (Sturridge 76), Kalou (Drogba 46), Anelka, Malouda. Not used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Kakuta, McEachran.
FULHAM 1 Aston Villa 1: Schwarzer, Baird (Kelly 58), Hangeland, Hughes, Salcido (Duff 69), Davies, Greening (A Johnson 59), Murphy, Gera, Dembele, Dempsey. Not used: Stockdale, Pantsil, Etuhu, E Johnson.