Brighton will have first-choice goalkeeper Mat Ryan available for selection for Tuesday’s trip to Fulham.
Ryan has not played for Brighton since Boxing Day due to his participation in the Asian Cup but he’s back in contention following Australia’s quarter-final exit at the hands of UAE.
However, with David Button having performed admirably in his absence, manager Chris Hughton has a tough call to make with regard who starts at Craven Cottage.
“I haven’t named the team for tomorrow yet, and I have a decision to make now in the goalkeeping position,” the Brighton boss said. “David Button has come in and done very well and taken his chance.
“Maty Ryan trained yesterday and he will do again today – he’s fine and fit. Maty’s one of these ones that because of where he plays his international football is used to travelling.
“We’ve had this for the last couple of seasons where he’s played on the back of a return flight from Australia a few days before. So, as regards him and his physicality, he’s in very good shape.
Fulham welcome Brighton to Craven Cottage in a perilous position, second from bottom and seven points adrift of safety.
Ranieri, who replaced the sacked Slavisa Jokanovic in November, believes the situation can only improve and admits the Seagulls game is must-win.
“It’s crucial for us. We have to win and we have to make the maximum effort,” he said. “The battle is hard, now we are relegated, we can only improve. Worse than this, is not possible.
“I’m a positive man. I know it’s a hard job but it was hard when I came, it’s harder now. We have to try to fight until the end.”
Fulham have no fresh injury concerns but will be without suspended forward Aboubakar Kamara.
Frenchman Kamara has been banned indefinitely by the club and is the subject of an internal investigation following an incident at the Cottagers’ training ground.
Midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has returned to training after injury but will not feature against the Seagulls, while centre-back Alfie Mawson (knee) also remains out.
Along with Ryan, Brighton will have Leon Balogun available for selection for the trip to Fulham.
The defender missed Saturday’s FA Cup draw with West Brom because of illness.
Iran winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh is still at the Asian Cup ahead of Monday’s semi-final against Japan, while Jose Izquierdo (knee) and Bernardo (hamstring) also remain unavailable.