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In form Fulham looking to secure bragging rights

last updated Monday 14th February 2011, 11:25 AM

Fulham manager Mark Hughes In-form Fulham will be looking to secure local bragging rights when they host west London rivals Chelsea.

The Cottagers, who entered 2011 slumped in relegation trouble, have suffered only one defeat in their last six Premier League outings to clamber into mid-table.

They will, however, be aware that they remain within three points of the drop zone and must maintain their forward momentum if they are to avoid being dragged back into trouble.

Their form on home soil bodes well ahead of a derby date with Chelsea, with maximum points taken from their last three games at Craven Cottage.

That run has been built on solid foundations, with three clean sheets paving the way for a nine-point haul.

Fulham have struggled against capital rivals this term, though, with just one point taken from six fixtures against fellow London-based sides.

Chelsea will be hoping to pile more derby woe on Mark Hughes' men on Monday night, as they seek to rekindle their fading title dream.

They enter the game 13 points adrift of leaders Manchester United, but have played one game less than the Red Devils.

Any hope they have of rejoining the race is likely to rest on their expensively-assembled frontline, with £50million man Fernando Torres adding to the considerable threat already posed by Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.

Goals have not been a problem for the Blues in recent weeks, with four plundered in each of their last two league games on the road.

They have, however, kept just one clean sheet in their last nine away games and need to tighten up at the back if they are to defend the top flight crown they secured last term.

Eidur Gudjohnsen could make his first Fulham start on Monday.

The Icelandic striker made his Cottagers debut as a late substitute in the 2-2 draw against Aston Villa and will be pushing for a spot in the starting XI against his former employers.

Dickson Etuhu (hamstring) and Philippe Senderos (Achilles) are likely to miss out again, while Bobby Zamora is still two to three weeks away from fitness after recovering from a broken leg.

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed £25million signing David Luiz will be given his full debut at Craven Cottage.

Centre-back Luiz is expected to come in for Jose Bosingwa, who has a knock, with Branislav Ivanovic moving to right-back.

In attack, the Italian looks set to persevere with a front three of Torres, Drogba and Anelka - with the latter operating in a deeper, supporting role.

Source SkySports
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