Chelsea are desperately looking to stop their slide down the English Premier League table, and the Blues will be looking for a victory in their London derby with Fulham.
Martin Jol’s side is the very definition of a mid-table team and currently sits in 10th. However, the Cottagers are without a victory in their last five matches.
Rafa Benitez will be looking for his first victory as Chelsea’s caretaker, and a positive result will help the club move on from the Roberto Di Matteo era.
Here is everything you need to know about the match.
Where: Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom
When: Wednesday, November 28, 2:45 p.m. ET
Watch: Fox Soccer Channel
Audio Stream: Talk Sport Radio (Live)
Video Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go (Delayed)
Biggest Storyline: Chelsea in Turmoil
Chelsea is winless in their last five league matches, and that has caused them to fall from first to fourth in the Premiership. The team also suffered a 3-0 loss to Juventus last week and is on the brink of an early Champions League exit.
This is significantly more adversity than Blues fans have grown accustomed to dealing with over the past decade, and another loss would cause something smelly to hit the fan at Stamford Bridge.
Player to Watch for Chelsea: Juan Mata
Mata has been on an amazing streak up until recently. He has six goals and eight assists this season, and they all came within a run of 10 incredible matches.
However, Mata has not had his hand in a goal in his last three matches, and he will be looking to find his form again against the Cottagers. If he can return to the level he was playing at a few weeks ago, the Blues will go on to win this match.
Player to Watch for Fulham: Dimitar Berbatov
The former Manchester United striker is far and away Fulham’s most talented player. He has notched five goals and three assists since arriving in London.
Berbatov's nonchalant style frustrated United fans, but he has been in free-flowing form at Craven Cottage and has been a delight for Fulham supporters. If Chelsea’s defense isn't sharp, he will punish them.
Key Matchup: Chelsea Centre-Backs vs. Dimitar Berbatov
If the Blues' back line can contain Berbatov, it will be difficult for Fulham to build in the attacking third and sustain constant pressure. If they fail to do this, the ball will fall to Chelsea’s midfielders for the majority of the game.
This will be dangerous for Fulham, and in this match, the Cottagers’ best defense will be a potent offense. If its best attacking player cannot have a significant impact, it will be a massive problem for the away side.
What They’re Saying
ESPN’s Phil Lythell believes that Chelsea’s 0-0 tie with Manchester City this past weekend was a positive considering all the distractions the players were facing.
However, beneath all the tension surrounding the revolving door in the manager's office, a football match actually took place at Stamford Bridge and it was there that the second pleasant surprise occurred: a Chelsea clean sheet.
Phil Mison, also of ESPN, noted that Fulham’s most recent result was decidedly less positive and he will certainly be hoping for a better outcome against the Blues.
It was an utterly predictable result at the Britannia for the Whites, even down to the manner of the match winner. No less depressing was Fulham’s approach to the game. Are you telling us this was meticulously planned out through five days of preparation on the training ground? I don’t believe it.
Prediction: Chelsea 3, Fulham 2
This will be an open match with plenty of attacking flare, and Chelsea will come out on top at home.
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