Chelsea travel to Craven Cottage for a midweek Premier League fixture against London rivals Fulham, with the knowledge that three points will take them back above Arsenal and into third place, in the race for Champions League football next season. Meanwhile, Martin Jol's men are inching closer towards confirming Premier League status for another season and are 10th, with a nine-point gap back to Wigan Athletic and the start of the drop zone.

Chelsea v Fulham

The reverse fixture, in late November, finished goalless at Stamford Bridge. The last time these sides played at the Cottage was in April 2012, when a late goal from American Clint Dempsey gave Fulham a 1-1 draw; Frank Lampard scored for Chelsea.

Where to Follow Live

Kick-off is set for 8pm BST. Follow the score via real time updates on BBC Sport and ESPN Soccernet.


Fulham played out a 1-1 draw at Villa Park on Saturday and come into this game after losing only once in the last five games. The Cottagers' impressive run includes a 1-0 defeat of Spurs at White Hart Lane.

Jol's home form has been reasonably good so far this season, with seven wins from 15 home games. The club have scored 25 goals in those fixtures, which is a reasonable return. However, what may give them an edge in the fight to remain in the Premier League is a defensive record that has seen them concede only 19 times so far - less than any side below them, with the exception of West Ham United (18) and Norwich City and Sunderland (17).

The Cottagers face a difficult run-in to the end of the season, with games against Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool yet to come. They must also face Reading, who are scrapping to remain in the English top flight. However, the fact four of the final six games are at home should ensure Fulham's survival.

Chelsea v Fulham

Meanwhile, Chelsea will look to shake off the FA Cup blues from the semi final defeat to Manchester City. A 2-1 loss at Wembley means Rafael Benitez has now lost two consecutive games. League form is a little better, with three wins from the last five games.

The Blues have a remarkably similar record to Fulham, statistically, in away games this season, with the same numbers of wins, draws, defeats and an identical goal difference. However, the west London club's recent away form is not good reading, with no wins on the road since the 2-0 defeat of Championship side Middlesbrough, in the FA Cup, in February.

Chelsea are presently fourth in the league table, two points behind Arsenal. However, they have two games in hand over the Gunners (this is the first of them) and will back themselves to return to third and the last of the automatic qualifying positions for Champions League football next term.

Team Form


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): D L W W D
  • Last Match: Aston Villa 1 - 1 Fulham
Dimitar Berbatov


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): L L W W W
  • Last Match: Chelsea 1 - 2 Manchester City

Team News

Former Chelsea winger Damien Duff (groin) is unlikely to play this game. Midfielder Steve Sidwell, also an ex-Chelsea player, is unavailable as well, as he serves the last game of a three-match ban. Kieran Richardson is expected to continue in his place. Jol is unlikely to make any changes to his side.

Probable Line-Up: Schwarzer; Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise; Karagounis, Enoh, Richardson, Emanuelson; Berbatov, Ruiz

Ashley Cole (hamstring) and Oriol Romeu (knee) are the only absentees for Benitez, who could welcome England defender Gary Cahill back for this game. Expect the Blues to name a strong squad and come out fighting, as they bid to get their Champions League qualifying campaign back on track.

Probable Line-Up: Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry, Luiz, Bertrand; Ramires, Mikel; Oscar, Hazard, Mata; Ba