PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V FULHAM - PART ONE
For the second Saturday running Chelsea are in tea-time action, and on this occasion it's a local affair. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton size up the SW6 derby…
It is kind when the neighbours know you are having a bit of a rough time and pop straight round to see how you are. Unfortunately Fulham will not be knocking on the door on Saturday evening with a bottle of red, chocolate and compassion. At the same time, the Whites should prepare themselves just in case the greeting they receive is a bit brisk.
Chelsea's home group stage defeat by a tenacious Basel, our first in the Champions League since the opening match of the 2003/4 campaign proper (an even more surprising 0-2 to Besiktas), follows the narrow league loss at Everton.
The squandered chances of Goodison were not so abundant against the Swiss, which will concern Jose Mourinho. Chelsea may not have a mountain to climb but the Swiss made the route to the knockout stage a little steeper and the Blues need a lift.
Although it is decades since we lost in this branch of the west London derby, Fulham have drawn four of their last seven at the Bridge, including the most recent two. We have not scored more than one home league goal against them since Christmas 2009.
A win for under-pressure Martin Jol's team would inflict a third successive defeat for the first time since May/August 2006, when the newly crowned Premier League champions slipped up in the final two league games against Blackburn and Newcastle and the Community Shield against Liverpool.
The last hat-trick of defeats when it mattered was in September/October 2002 when our failure at Viking Stavanger in the UEFA Cup was sandwiched between league losses at home to West Ham and away to Liverpool.
The Dutch coach has squeezed just one win from a dozen meetings with Chelsea at Tottenham and his current side. The victory came at White Hart Lane and against 10 men. He has drawn four of the others and taken nil points on seven occasions.
The most recent west London derby was in mid-April at the Cottage, the visitors running out easy 3-0 winners.
Jol's men are finding goals equally hard to come by so far this season, notching three in four Premier League outings.
After just four matches no Premier League side can boast a perfect start. That is for the second successive season, but the previous four campaigns all had teams protecting a 100 per cent record at this stage. Are the stronger teams growing weaker or has the general standard improved?
A win will put the Blues above both Manchester clubs, who play each other on Sunday. Chelsea then detour to Swindon Town (our first visit for 20 years) in the League Cup on Tuesday night before facing Tottenham away Saturday lunchtime.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Norwich v Aston Villa 12.45pm - BT Sport
Liverpool v Southampton 3pm
Newcastle v Hull 3pm
West Brom v Sunderland 3pm
West Ham v Everton 3pm
Chelsea v Fulham 5.30pm - Sky Sports
Arsenal v Stoke 1.30pm - Sky Sports
Crystal Palace v Swansea 1.30pm
Cardiff v Tottenham 4pm
Manchester City v Manchester United 4pm - Sky Sports
|Barclays Premier League top six|
In the Premier League Chelsea have won 28 points of the last 30 at Stamford Bridge.
|Last six results|
|Aug 18||Hull City (h)||W 2-0|
|Aug 21||Aston Villa (h)||W 2-1|
|Aug 26||Manchester United (a)||D 0-0|
|Aug 30||Bayern Munich (Super Cup) lost 4-5 on pens||D 2-2|
|Sep 14||Everton (a)||L 0-1|
|Sep 18||Basel (Champions League h)||L 1-2|
Premier League scorers (4)
Ivanovic 1, Lampard 1, Oscar 1, own goal 1
League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 3
A home defeat: 11
|Chelsea's next three games|