Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday September 20 2013
Is there a better time to be going to Stamford Bridge? Our neighbours are in disarray after two consecutive defeats and haven`t won in four games. The 'Special One` doesn`t seem that special anymore and you just get that feeling that spirits are low in the Chelsea camp. Unfortunately, life isn`t that rosy in the Fulham garden with our own manager being the subject of some far from pleasant chants last Saturday. Therefore, it has all the makings of a close match and one which I reckon we could very well spring a surprise.
This summer Chelsea have reinforced their squad with several acquisitions. Coming in to the ranks are Marco Van Ginkel, Andre Schurrle, Willian, Samuel Eto`o and last not least Mark Schwarzer. Mourinho has also resisted from sending Kevin De Bruyne out on loan but surprised many by letting Romelu Lukaku, who scored 17 goals for West Brom last season, go out on loan.
Looking in from the outside, the biggest problem appears to be settling on a settled starting eleven with too may good players, in the midfield department to select from. Juan Mata, so influential last season is rarely selected and, up front, Eto`o, Ba and Torres are all yet to get on the score-sheet this season.
As for injuries and suspensions, we believe there are none.
Although the Chelsea captain didn`t play in midweek, we expect him to return for this clash and memories of those two goals he scored against us last time still haunt us.
Martin Jol will be hoping that Dimitar Berbatov will come through a late fitness test to join Darren Bent in attack.
However, the following are expected to miss the clash through injury - Bryan Ruiz, Maarten Stekelenberg, Aaro Hughes and Matthew Briggs.
Three of the Fulham squad - Scott Parker, Steve Sidwell and Damien Duff, will be returning to a stage they graced earlier in their careers.
Scott will be relishing a return to an old stomping ground and will want to put on a decent display. If Scott can get a hold of the midfield area then we can get a result at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea appear to have the Indian sign over us. We last won in a top flight match at Stamford Bridge way back in March 1964. Our last win, in any division at Stamford Bridge was back on October 1979 and the only time we`ve beaten them in a 34 game run that has spanned 34 years is in March 2006. But, on the bright side, we`ve taken a point off of them in four of the last five games.
Our officials for this fixture are:- Referee - A. Marriner Assistant - S. Ledger Assistant - M. Perry Fourth Official - R. Madley
Last season we went to Stamford Bridge and got a deserved 0-0 draw, can we do better this time? Well I reckon it`ll depend on who scores first. If we can get our noses ahead then watch those Chelsea heads drop. I reckon we`ll get a point, at least, but maybe even three as Mourinho`s woes continue.
Our next fixture sees us in Capital One Cup action again when we face Everton, at Craven Cottage. Our next Premier League fixture sees us host Cardiff City next Saturday.
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Date:Friday September 20 2013
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