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Premier League

  • December 26, 2011
  • • 8:00 AM
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 41548
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Premier League Preview: Chelsea - Fulham

The west London neighbors go head-to-head with Andre Villas-Boas' side looking to build on their midweek draw at White Hart Lane as they pursue third place Tottenham


PROBABLE LINEUPS

CHELSEA

Cech
Ferreira, Bosingwa, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Romeu, Meireles
Sturridge, Drogba, Mata

FULHAM

Stockdale
Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, J. A. Riise
Ruiz, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey
Dembele
Johnson

David Luiz faces a race to be fit for Chelsea. His return would be a timely boost, given the injury Branislav Ivanovic sustained in the Blues' draw with Tottenham on Thursday - Jose Bosingwa may be forced to fill in at center back if the Brazilian is not passed fit.

In midfield, manager Andre Villas-Boas will choose between Frank Lampard and Raul Meireles. Oriol Romeu is likely to come in for John Obi Mikel, who also picked up a knock during the Tottenham match. Michael Essien remains sidelined.

Fulham manager Martin Jol has been fairly consistent in his team selection in recent weeks and looks set to continue with striker Bobby Zamora out of the starting lineup. Chris Baird could be replaced by Stephen Kelly at right back after being substituted against Manchester United.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Chelsea has faced Fulham 74 times in all competitions since the two sides first met in 1910. The Blues have dominated the match-up, their 42 wins dwarfing the Cottagers’ total of nine victories.
  • Andre Villas-Boas’ side held on with 10 men to draw 0-0 before winning on penalties in the League Cup in September when the two teams last met.
  • The highest scoring encounter between the two teams came in the 1983/84 season in what was then the Football League Division Two (now the Championship). On that occasion, Chelsea secured a 5-3 victory at Craven Cottage.
  • John Terry (pictured right) and John Obi Mikel give the ball away less than any other Chelsea player, with both maintaining a 91.6 percent pass success rate. 
  • Chelsea has collected the most yellow cards in the Premier League so far this season, with the current total at 41.
  • Despite its 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United on Wednesday, Fulham has been in reasonable form in recent weeks. It has won two, drawn two and lost two in its last six, a pace that over a full season would likely put it in the top half.
  • That run has included not only Manchester United but also matches against top four contenders Liverpool and Arsenal.
  • Fulham has won four out of the five Premier League games in which Clint Dempsey has scored this season.
  • Steve Sidwell and Damien Duff are former Chelsea players in the Fulham squad but the former is injured and the latter is unlikely to start on Boxing Day having fallen out of favor in recent weeks.
  • Chelsea fans will have fond memories of Fulham defender John Arne Riise – the left back headed in an own goal in injury time of the 2007-08 Champions League semifinal first leg while playing for Liverpool, tipping the tie in the Blues’ favor.
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Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Chelsea

Fulham

Wins
3
2
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
Draw
Fulham FC FUL
Fulham FC Fulham
89%

Top 3 Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
3 - 0
Fulham FC FUL
Chelsea FC CHE
3 - 1
Fulham FC FUL
Chelsea FC CHE
2 - 0
Fulham FC FUL

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