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Fulham welcome Chelsea ~ Match Preview .

last updated Friday 11th February 2011, 6:29 PM


Fulham manager Mark Hughes Craven Cottage hosts this Valentine's Day union between west London neighbours Fulham and Chelsea, with the home side eager for a victory that would break Chelsea hearts. The champions' hopes of retaining their title are hanging by a thread, with last weekend's costly defeat against former club Liverpool leaving Carlo Ancelotti's champions 10 points off leaders Manchester United. With seven defeats already, an eighth here would surely prove terminal to their title hopes.

Fulham are a team in form, unbeaten at home in 2011 and up to 12th in the table after taking 11 points from a possible 18 since the turn of the year. With Bobby Zamora making a goalscoring return in the reserves in midweek following five months out with a broken leg, the feel-good factor is high at Craven Cottage.

This fixture sees several Fulham stars reunited with their ex. Steve Sidwell, Damien Duff and Eidur Gudjohnsen will all be keen to show Chelsea what they are missing, while Fulham boss Mark Hughes was a popular figure during his three years as a player at Stamford Bridge.

Blues fans, however, have a new love in £50m striker Fernando Torres, who will be desperate to make his mark following a disappointing debut against former club Liverpool.

  • Fulham have beaten Chelsea just once in the last 28 league and cup meetings, spanning 31 years. That solitary success was 1-0 at Craven Cottage in March 2006, when Luis Boa Morte got the only goal.


  • Didier Drogba has scored in three of his last four Premier League games against Fulham.


  • Fulham have won their last three Premier League home matches without conceding a goal.


  • The Cottagers have picked up just one point from six London derbies this season.


  • They are the only team in the Premier League who have not earned a red card in the Premier League this season.


  • The next goal Chelsea score will be their 150th in the Premier League under Carlo Ancelotti.


  • The Blues have kept only one clean sheet in their last nine Premier League away games.


  • Branislav Ivanovic will be hoping to celebrate his new contract with his 100th appearance for the club.


  • Fulham - Leading goalscorers
    Dempsey: 10 goals (9 league); Kamara: 5 goals (2 league)


  • Chelsea - Leading goalscorers
    Anelka: 14 goals (6 league); Drogba & Malouda: 10 goals (9 league); Kalou: 10 goals (7 league)
























Source BBCSports
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