Chelsea vs Fulham Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score
Chelsea welcome local neighbours Fulham to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening looking to get back on track after a difficult few weeks. Here’s a match preview.
Chelsea welcome local neighbours Fulham to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening looking to get back on track after a difficult few weeks.
The Blues season has taken an unexpected turn for the worse with the west Londoners win-less in their previous four outings. Following a bore 0-0 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford last month, Jose Mourinho’s men lost to Bayern Munich in a penalty shoot-out in the final of the European Super Cup.
Defeat to Everton on Saturday was followed by a shock 2-1 home defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday making it the clubs worst start in a dacade so Mourinho will be desperate to get back to winning ways this weekend.
The Portuguese coach has not lost a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge in 62 games and Fulham haven’t beaten their local rivals in 14 attempts, so the omens are good for Chelsea to turn things around.
Martin Jol is also under pressure at Craven Cottage having failed to win since the opening day when they beat Sunderland and fans were left distinctly unimpressed following last weekend’s 1-1 draw at home to West Brom.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is expected to once again shake things up following defeat to Basel. Skipper John Terry is certain to be restored to the starting eleven and he should be joined by Ramires after the Brazilian was suspended in midweek.
The big decision is who starts up front with none of Chelsea’s strikers hitting form just yet. Samuel Eto’o was picked in midweek but Fernando Torres could find himself restored to the starting eleven having been left out of the squad last time out.
Juan Mata is also pushing for a recall with summer signing Willian putting in a disappointing display on his debut.
Fulham are sweating on the fitness of striker Dimitar Berbatov who is struggling to overcome a hamstring strain. The Bulgarian international will have a late fitness test ahead of the game but is expected to be fit.
Fellow striker Darren Bent is back in contention after recovering from his own hamstring problem but Bryan Ruiz is likely to miss out after injuring his ankle last week.
Defenders Aaron Hughes and Matthew Briggs and goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg join Ruiz on the sidelines.
Eden Hazard: The Belgian had another disappointing outing against Basel and Mourinho will be demanding an improved display from his playmaker this weekend. The youngster either blows hot or cold and we think it’s about time he started to turn up the heat.
Chelsea 2-0 Fulham: The Blues will prove to be too strong for their London rivals and Mourinho’s men will get back on track with a routine win.
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