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Premier League

  • 17 April 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 25002
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Fulham - Chelsea Preview: Blues have lost last three away Premier League games

Fulham - Chelsea Preview: Blues have lost last three away Premier League games

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Rafael Benitez's side have lost six and won just three on their travels since the start of the year and travel to Craven Cottage to face their 10th-placed west London rivals

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

FULHAM

Schwarzer
Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise
Karagounis, Enoh, Richardson, Emanuelson
Berbatov, Ruiz
CHELSEA

Cech
Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Bertrand
Ramires, Mikel
Mata, Oscar, Hazard
Ba

Fulham midfielder Damien Duff (groin) sustained an injury last time out against Aston Villa and may not be fit enough to start on Wednesday night.

Steve Sidwell serves the last match of his three-game suspension, so Kieran Richardson may well keep his place in the midfield. Otherwise, Martin Jol has no new injury concerns ahead of this game.

Meanwhile, Chelsea defender Ashley Cole (hamstring) is near a recovery although this game may come slightly too soon for the left-back, leaving Ryan Bertrand - who recently recovered from a virus - to deputise again.

Gary Cahill is also returning to full fitness and could make the bench for this game. Otherwise, Rafael Benitez is likely to field a strong side as the Blues look to open up a gap over fellow Champions League qualification rivals Tottenham.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Fulham have seen five own goals scored for them this season, the joint-most in the Premier League alongside Manchester United.
  • The Cottagers have recovered just five points from losing positions in the league this term.
  • Fulham have seen their woodwork hit 18 times this season, more than any other team in the top flight.
  • Martin Jol's men have drawn their last five matches against Wednesday's opponents in all competitions.
  • The hosts' last league victory over Chelsea was a 1-0 win in 2005-06 thanks to a goal from Luis Boa Morte (pictured right).
  • Chelsea are undefeated in their last 14 matches against Fulham in all competitions.
  • The Blues' loss to Manchester City in the FA Cup on Sunday was their first defeat in the competition in 30 matches, excluding penalty shootouts.
  • Chelsea have not won a game away from home in the Premier League since they beat Stoke City 4-0 on January 12 - and only twice in all competitions in 12 outings.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
3John Arne RiiseDefender
14Philippe SenderosDefender
-Brede HangelandDefender
20Sascha RietherMidfielder
14Georgios KaragounisMidfielder
8Urby EmanuelsonMidfielder
6Eyong EnohMidfielder
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
10Mladen PetricStriker
11Bryan RuizStriker
38Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
18Aaron HughesDefender
25Stanislav ManolevDefender
35Emmanuel FrimpongMidfielder
11Kieran RichardsonMidfielder
21Kerim FreiMidfielder
20Hugo RodallegaStriker
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
23David LuizDefender
26John TerryDefender
-Ryan BertrandDefender
7RamiresMidfielder
8Frank LampardMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Juan MataStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
27Nathan AkeDefender
11OscarMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
9Demba BaStriker
Players to Watch
Dimitar Berbatov
Dimitar Berbatov
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Fulham will once again be reliant on the Bulgarian to provide their attacking impetus. The striker has impressed since making the move to Craven Cottage - notching 13 goals in 27 Premier League appearances - and will need to be at his elegant best to get one over last term's European champions.
Juan Mata
Juan Mata
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
The attacking midfielder has been crucial for Chelsea all season, continuing the excellent form from his debut campaign and pressing his case to be Player of the Year. The Spaniard was left on the bench for the game at Craven Cottage so should be keen to impress in the return fixture.
Prediction
With their vociferous home support, Fulham will be hopeful of taking a win here and may cause a few problems if Dimitar Berbatov is on form.

However, the Blues will be hurting from their FA Cup exit, so will be keen for a positive reaction to maintain the strength of their bid to return to the Champions League. Rafa Benitez's men should have enough to beat their London rivals.
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 1

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