Chelsea v Fulham: Five players under the spotlight

Chelsea welcome local rivals Fulham to Stamford Bridge in Saturday's tea-time game as they look to put the disappointment of the last week behind them.

Last season: 0-0

Odds: Chelsea 3/10, Draw 23/5, Fulham 11/1

Chelsea started the season with seven points in the first three games but in the last week suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season to Everton at Goodison Park, and a surprise defeat to Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday, which they will look to put behind them.

Fulham have had an inconsistent start, after winning at Sunderland on the opening day they have only picked up a solitary point from their other three games after a last minute Gareth McAuley equaliser for West Brom denied then all three points at Craven Cottage last weekend.

Dimitar Berbatov could miss out for Fulham with a hamstring injury whilst it might be a week too early for Maarten Stekelenburg as he recovers from a shoulder injury. Chelsea, however, have no fresh injury worries and it may be a case of how much Mourinho would like to tinker with his side with the fixture schedule starting to get a little bit busier.

Darren Bent:

There are one or two question marks over his fitness but Darren Bent could be essential if Fulham are to get anything from Stamford Bridge. With his pace and his finishing ability, he could give the Chelsea back line a lot to think about.  

Eden Hazard:

We’ve not seen much of Hazard early on this season a Oscar seems to have outshone him. Nevertheless a player of Hazard’s quality can’t be kept quiet for long, and he may start firing on Saturday tea time.

Juan Mata:

It will be interesting to see whether or not Mata plays. He hasn’t played much this season but with the fixture list getting a bit busier, Mata may be called upon to play a significant role for Chelsea against Fulham.

Steve Sidwell:

A return to his former club, and Fulham will need to play well in the middle of the park if they are to get something off Mourinho’s men. Sidwell, along with Scott Parker will be the key men in the engine room as they both try and get one over their former club.

Samuel Eto’o:

He has had a peculiar first couple of games in a Chelsea shirt, although he has looked threatening with some good movement, he hasn’t managed to find the back of the net for his side. Will he get another start this weekend, and a chance to get his first goal for the club?

Last time they met:

Fulham 0-3 Chelsea – Premier League April 2013

This game contained one of the goals of the season as David Luiz’s 35 yard effort put Chelsea into the lead before John Terry headed home for Chelsea’s second. Terry added to his and Chelsea’s tally 20 minutes from time. The result kept up Chelsea’s pursuit of a Champions League place whilst Fulham remained in mid-table.

image: © Jason Bagley

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