Fulham v Chelsea - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Saturday 1st March 2014 at 15:00. Venue: Craven Cottage, London.

Odds: Fulham 7/1, Draw 15/4, Chelsea 1/2

Last season: 0-3

Preview & injury news

Another game this weekend that is massive for contrasting reasons as Fulham look to move themselves off the bottom of the table, whilst Chelsea want to keep up the pressure on the rest of their title rivals by staying top of the Premier League.

It was almost the perfect start for Felix Magath last week but his side failed to hold on to their lead at West Bromwich Albion and came away with a point instead meaning the Cottagers haven't won in each of their last seven Premier League games. They currently sit four points from safety at the foot of the table, but relegation rivals Sunderland and West Brom don't play each other this weekend because of Sunderland's participation in the League Cup final, meaning a good result will put some extra pressure on those two sides.

Chelsea are in pretty good form themselves having won eight of their last ten games, including that late winner against Everton last week to keep them top of the pile. Though their midweek Champions League trip to Turkey didn't go completely to plan, coming away with a 1-1 draw against Galatasaray, they will still be a team high on confidence. They will also look to put pressure on title rivals Manchester City this weekend, who are Sunderland's opponents in Sunday's League Cup final.

On the injury front, the home side have a relatively clean bill of health with only Matthew Briggs on the sidelines. For Chelsea, they have question marks over the fitness of John Obi Mikel, who Mourinho said was 'nearly injured' ahead of their Champions League tie in midweek, whilst David Luiz could return to the side this weekend after a thigh problem, having missed last weekend's win over Everton. 

Key stats

Here are the two sides top scorers in the Premier League so far this season

Eden Hazard Chelsea FW 12 27 2,280
Samuel Eto'o Chelsea FW 6 17 1,101
Oscar Chelsea MF 6 25 1,647
Steve Sidwell Fulham MF 6 27 2,280
Dimitar Berbatov Fulham FW 4 18 1,568
Darren Bent Fulham FW 3 20 1,008

Their average possession statistics:

NamePossession PercentagePlayed
Chelsea 53.93 27
Fulham 43.67 27

And the amount of clean sheets the sides have kept this season:

NameClean SheetPlayed
Chelsea 12 27
Fulham 3 27

5 players to watch

Lewis Holtby - Holtby has looked like a really bright spark in the Fulham team ever since he joined the Cottagers on loan from Tottenham at the end of January. If the home side are to record a surprise win this weekend, it may be as a result of his creativity unlocking a very solid Chelsea defence.

Eden Hazard - Hazard just seems to impress week after week and is constantly a threat. Against a side that hasn't been tight at the back this season, the impressive Belgian could have a field day, and help keep Chelsea top of the table.

Steve Sidwell - Sidwell faces his former club this weekend and has shown recently that he is capable of putting in a good performance against big sides to help his team. If he can put in another determined effort in the middle of the park, his side may just have a chance of causing an upset.

Samuel Eto'o - Eto'o has been the subject of a couple of comments from his manager this week about his age in a leaked conversation which also confirmed that Jose Mourinho is unhappy with the scoring return he is getting from his strikers. Eto'o says the comments didn't really affect him. If he plays this weekend, what are the chances of him getting on the scoresheet.

Darren Bent - Put simply, if Fulham get an opportunity this weekend then they have to take it, and Bent is an experienced striker. There's a lot resting on Bent if he gets those chances this weekend to hit the target, as it could prove crucial if Fulham are to survive this season.

Earlier on in the season

Chelsea 2-0 Fulham, September 2013

After a pretty poor first half, it was a business like second half from Chelsea as they bounced back from two defeats. Oscar opened the scoring shortly after the interval with a tap in from six yards after David Stockdale saved efforts from both Andre Schurrle and Samuel Eto'o. The home side's second goal came from one of the more unlikely sources when John Terry headed on a corner, only for it bounce kindly for John Obi Mikel to fire home.

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