Chelsea FC takes the second London derby within four days when they host rival Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day (26 December 2011). While Chelsea is looking to extend their recent five games unbeaten run and pursue third place Tottenham, the near-neighbors Fulham struggles to gain points to exit the relegation zone.
Chelsea enters the English Premier League (EPL) clash looking to put down an early marker to their fellow title challengers and sets to get the a good run of wins through the Christmas period. With a draw against Tottenham on Thursday, the team was left 11 points adrift of table-topping Manchester City which is real challenge for Andre Villas-Boas who is still hunting for the Premier League crown and ensuring their qualifications for the Champions League. Andre Villas-Boas clearly indicates that the team needs six points from two home faces to keep up with in the title race. However, the negative fact is that Chelsea faces up with some injury concerns while Michael Essien is off the comeback and Branislav Ivanovic and John Mikel Obi are latest casualties on Friday morning. When the two teams last met on September, Andre Villas-Boas’ side (with tem men) made a draw 0-0 before winning on penalties in the League Cup.
On the other side, manager Martin Jol is under pressure as he brings his squad down the Fulham Road to take on Chelsea. Sitting on the 13rd place with 18 points, the team desperately needs a win to pot them out of the drop zone and back towards the top half of the table. Fulham has just been pasted 5-0 by Manchester United at Craven Cottage and traveling to Stamford Bridge is a good chance to get back to good record.
Chelsea vs Fulham 26 December 2011 Highlights: Chelsea has met Fulham 74 times in all competitions in which the Blues won 42 times while the Cottagers’ total victories were just nine
Manager Andre Villas-Boas is clearly boosted by the return of David Luiz for the Boxing Day clash with Fulham. He also insists not to call to end Alex’s first-team exile despite the defensive injury crisis, stating, “We are not stupid people. We do not accept a transfer request and put people training apart and then dial 999 and ask for help”
The Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech confidently thinks that that Chelsea can close the gap on Manchester City and again three points against Fulham on Boxing Day, saying “[Fulham] will be a difficult game because they lost 5-0 at home in their last game”
Barcelona's Oriol Romeu shows off that he is already Premiership class with superb distribution for Chelsea during loan time.
Mousa Dembele, who is rumored to be on Tottenham`s wish-list and has interest from Fullham, would probably play at a higher level and for a bigger club
Chelsea vs Fulham Full Match Highlights
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