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Fulham at home to Chelsea ~ Match Preview

last updated Monday 09th April 2012, 12:49 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
A quick glance at the performances of these two on Saturday would suggest that Fulham could be set for only their second victory against Chelsea in 32 league and cup meetings spanning 32 years.

The Cottagers looked very impressive at Bolton in their joint best ever Premier League away victory, while Chelsea were labouring to their win against Wigan courtesy of two poor calls from the assistant referee.

They've already pushed Chelsea hard twice this season and if Pavel Pogrebnyak is fit they will have enough goal threat to worry Chelsea, who will have tired legs as their busy fixture list takes its toll.

Clint Dempsey scored in the Boxing Day draw between the sides at Stamford Bridge and now has a career best 21 goals this season. He is now attracting the attention of top European sides. Chelsea will need to be wary of his movement off defenders in the box.

Roberto di Matteo, with eight wins from 10 games in charge, will make changes to freshen up his side. Fernando Torres is set to replace Didier Drogba but if Fulham stick to surely their best back four (Stephen Kelly, Aaron Hughes, Brede Hangeland and John Arne Riise) he won't find it any easier to score.

Branislav Ivanovic, with three goals in their last two league games, has scored as many as Fernando Torres has all season.

His form is turning though and if Frank Lampard, who has netted eight Chelsea goals against Fulham, returns from injury the visitors will also carry real scoring threat.

They simply can't afford defeat. It would put a serious dent in their hopes of a top four place. Fulham's need isn't as pressing, but their home form is solid with just two defeats in twelve games.

If Pogrebnyak plays, Martin Jol's side could spring a surprise.


  • Fulham have beaten Chelsea only once in the last 31 league and cup meetings, spanning over 32 years (D12, L19). Their solitary success was 1-0 at Craven Cottage in March 2006, when Luis Boa Morte got the only goal.

  • This will be their third meeting of the season. Chelsea won a third round Carling Cup tie on penalties in September, and they then drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge in the league on Boxing Day, Juan Mata scoring for the Blues and Clint Dempsey for the Cottagers.

  • This is the 79th meeting between the sides, Chelsea have won 42 times, Fulham just 11 and there have been 25 draws.

  • Fulham

  • Clint Dempsey has now scored 15 league goals this season - the most by a Fulham player in a single Premier League season, bettering Louis Saha's 13 goals in 2003-04.

  • Against Bolton, Martin Jol fielded an all-foreign starting line-up for the second time this season. The only other team to do this more than once this season is Arsenal.

  • The Cottagers are unbeaten when opening the scoring this season (W9, D3).

  • Chelsea

  • It's eight wins out of 10 in all competitions for Roberto di Matteo since he took over as interim manager.

  • Six of Chelsea's last 12 league goals have come from defenders.

  • Branislav Ivanovic has scored three goals in Chelsea's last two league matches. When his goal went in against Wigan he had scored as many goals in his last 101 minutes of Premier League football as Fernando Torres has done all season.

Source Jonathan Pearce at BBCSports
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