Fabregas expects to stay at Chelsea for rest of the season

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They beat Southampton 3-2 at Craven Cottage and now Ranieri feels they have put in the preparation work for their London derby at Stamford Bridge.

Fulham won only their second game of the season last weekend in Ranieri's first match in charge.

The La Liga champions and manager Ernesto Valverde have been plunged into a scramble to bring in a defender in January following news that Samuel Umtiti is set for a longer spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery in Qatar.

The Blues ensured safe passage to the knockout stages of the Europa League as group winners after easing to a 4-0 win over PAOK Salonika on Thursday night but they will be firmly focussed on Premier League matters tomorrow.

The 22-year-old has fallen down the pecking order, with David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger being preferred.

The 18-year-old, who has struggled for game time this season, was finally given a chance to impress by Maurizio Sarri and he didn't disappoint looking risky throughout and scoring his first ever goal for the Blues.

However, three of the last meetings between this pair at Stamford Bridge have resulted in draws, and there are odds of 7/1 (8.00) available on this one also finishing up all square.

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"But for me with him and Drinkwater I said to one to attack and one to defend, each time, I didn't want both attacking and no one in front of the defensive line".

'I believe in Aleksandar, but I think he needs more and more, and time for him to understand my philosophy, ' said Ranieri.

"Whenever I play my former teams, it's always special", said Ranieri at his Friday press conference.

'I want him to play as well in Premier League as he did in Championship.

Chelsea have lost just once under Maurizio Sarri.

Maurizio Sarri will be looking to snatch all three points against local rivals Fulham as they seek to get back to winning ways after a disappointing loss last weekend. So it wasn't very easy to find a big motivation.

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