Premier League Match Time: Chelsea Vs Fulham

Premier League Match Time: Chelsea Vs Fulham

It’s Premier League match time at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday as Chelsea host Fulham in this season’s 12th round of matches.

Chelsea are back from an away loss to Liverpool, only their second this season, where Torres celebrated a glorious return to form with two precision strikes that brought the Merseysiders back into the reckoning.

After the game, Ancelotti would have mulled over his team selection at Anfield where he opted to bench Didier Drogba. In the circumstances, the Blues found themselves with a two goal deficit at the break, and the Ivorian eventually replaced Salomon Kalou in the second half.

Drogba got an opportunity in the form of a free kick that he shot wide. Liverpool’s early strike dictated the rhythm of the game,and it gave the Merseysiders the confidence to call the shots in the first half. But the Reds appeared to lose nerve with about 25 minutes left in the game, and a strike by Chelsea at the time could have turned the game.

Anelka’s shot got under Raina and bounced up and rebounded off the underside of the crossbar in what was the closest Ancelotti’s charges came to scoring. Ramires, Zhirkov and Malouda also had chances go abegging, with Reina having a great day between the posts for Liverpool.

Chelsea need a fully fit Drogba in their line-up if they don’t want to burn out before the season is through. Also, Ancelotti must be looking forward to Lampard’s return to match fitness. In Lampard’s absence the lack of creatuvity in midfield is palpable. The likes of Ramires and Zhirkov are not good enough against quality opposition.

But Lampard is likely to be rested against Fulham as the Blues’ manager would want the midfielder fully fit for the Sunderland game.

Fulham have not won much after Mark Hughes became their manager. But they haven’t lost many either. The squad have become draw specialists, and they lived up to this reputation against Aston Villa when a late goal from Hangeland helped staved off what would have been the Cottagers’ second defeat of the season and salvage a point. Fulham have won just two matches this season and that places a question mark about their capacity to handle the better teams.

There was not much positive energy on display from Fulham in the Aston Villa game. Against Chelsea, they are likely to miss the absence of Zamora. While Chelsea have lost to their biggest rivals of the season thus far, in Manchester City and Liverpool, they have been clinical against lesser sides. The game against Fulham is likely to be no different.

Chelsea’s starting eleven in the Liverpool game comprised: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Zhirkov, Kalou, Anelka and Malouda; Sturridge, Bosingwa and Drogba played as substitutes.

The following players were in Fulham’s starting eleven against Aston Villa: Schwarzer, Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Salcido, Davies, Greening, Murphy, Gera, Dembele and Dempsey; Johnson, Kelly and Duff featured as substitutes.