Premier League Preview: Chelsea - Fulham

Last season's Europa League winners have not won in any competition since Aug. 21 and will be looking to recover from their shock defeat to Basel on Wednesday.
Chelsea will be desperate to end its four-match run without a win when it hosts Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Meetings between the two west London sides are normally tight affairs, and Chelsea has won just one of its last five league fixtures against Martin Jol's men.

And the match takes on extra significance for the Europa League holders given their slow start to the season which was capped on Wednesday with a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Basel in the Champions League.

New signing Samuel Eto'o has failed to impress in his first two matches for the club after joining from Anzhi Makhachkala, while fellow striker Fernando Torres is still short of form.

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is aware that the club's record this term has been poor, but stopped short of calling it a crisis.

"It's not a disaster but it's not ideal. A club like this wants to win the majority of games it plays," Cahill told the club's official website. "That's the expectation. It's a blow but it's not the be all and end all.

"We need to win our next game now, as simple as that. The manager will stress that."

Jose Mourinho's unbeaten record in Premier League fixtures at Stamford Bridge is a staggering 62 matches and although Chelsea's struggles will give Fulham a boost, Jol's men are in poor form themselves.

After a 1-0 triumph at Sunderland on the opening day, Fulham has failed to win in the league, leaving it in 14th position in the table.

Fulham looked set for all three points at Craven Cottage last Saturday against struggling West Brom, but conceded in injury time, as Gareth McAuley's header salvaged a point for the visitors in a 1-1 draw.

Dimitar Berbatov has failed to score in his four Premier League fixtures this season, while loan signing Darren Bent has started just once.

Bent is likely to return from a hamstring injury for the match, while Berbatov – who limped off against West Brom with a hamstring problem of his own – is a doubt.

Attacker Bryan Ruiz (ankle) was also substituted against West Brom and is likely to miss out, while goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (shoulder) and defenders Aaron Hughes (thigh) and Matthew Briggs (hernia) will not feature.

Chelsea has a clean bill of health and will be hopeful of extending its 14-match unbeaten league run against Fulham.