Six days on from beating Blackburn Rovers 4-1 in the EFL Cup fourth round, Nottingham Forest saw their four-game unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end when they lost 3-0 away against Man United on Tuesday night.
Forest are the only team who are yet to secure maximum points away from home in the top flight so far this campaign and Cooper’s men remain in the relegation zone, but at the time of writing they are only one point adrift from safety and just four points behind Leicester City in 13th place.
Chelsea, meanwhile, ended a four-game losing streak when they breezed past Bournemouth to claim a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Graham Potter’s side remain eighth in the top-flight standings but Tottenham Hotspur’s draw with Brentford on Boxing Day means that the Blues have moved to within six points of their London rivals in fourth place with a game in hand.
The West Londoners have also failed to win their first league fixture in any of the last six calendar years, but their record against Nottingham Forest at least bodes well ahead of Sunday’s contest as they have won each of their last seven meetings with the Tricky Trees, scoring at least twice on each occasion.
Chiekhou Kouyate and Moussa Niakhate both remain long-term absentees with hamstring problems, as do Omar Richards and Giulian Biancone who continue to recover from respective leg and ACL injuries.
Serge Aurier recovered from a minor calf issue to start against Man United, but he could be replaced at right-back by Neco Williams, while either Sam Surridge or Emmanuel Dennis could start at the expense of Lingard should Cooper decide to stick with a 4-3-3 formation.
As for Chelsea, they will be without Armando Broja (ACL), N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell (both hamstring), Wesley Fofana (knee) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (calf) due to injury, with the former of whom set to miss the rest of the season.
Reece James was fit to start against Bournemouth but he was withdrawn shortly after half time with the same knee problem that ruled him out of the World Cup; the Englishman is now out for up to a month and captain Cesar Azpilicueta is expected to take his place at right-back.
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga recovered from a foot problem in time to start against the Cherries and the Spaniard is set to keep his place between the sticks ahead of Edouard Mendy.
Possible starting lineup:
Data will be available at kick off time or sooner.
Nottingham Forest (20.1%)
Nottingham Forest 0-1 Chelsea
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