Chelsea must bounce back to beat Fulham - Benitez

The Blues boss admits that everyone at the club was frustrated by their FA Cup defeat to Manchester City but is targetting a return to the top three with a derby triumph
Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez hopes that his side can overcome their FA Cup heartbreak against Manchester City with a derby win over Fulham.

The local rivals do battle on Wednesday evening after the Blues' 2-1 semi-final loss and the Spaniard wants to see the team lay down a marker and put themselves back into the Premier League top three with a victory.

He told the club's official website: "After the game and on the day after we were really disappointed and a bit sad as we were very close but it's now the day before the Fulham match and we are ready, focused and thinking about this game.

8/1 Chelsea are 8/1 with Paddy Power to beat Fulham 2-0
"We wanted to go to the final like we do in the Europa League but we have to keep an eye on the Premier League. We now have one less competition, we lost against a good team, but we did well and in the second half deserved to score another goal.

"Every game is important until the end of the season. If we win this one we'll be in the top three again so we know we have to be ready, get three points and prepare for the next challenge on Sunday."

Fulham have not beaten the Blues since 2006 but drew 0-0 with them in the inverse fixture earlier this season and Benitez expects a tough game.

"Fulham are a very good team, you can see the level they've been at in the Premier League for a while," he noted. "Derbies are different - anything can happen - but hopefully we can do well and keep history with us."

Benitez went on to reveal that he will go into the game without two key defenders as well as one of his attacking options, explaining: "Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill are progressing and doing well but they won't be ready for this game.

"Marko Marin had a little problem but has been training [on Tuesday]. He had a problem with his thigh but it's nothing serious."