Chelsea v Fulham

A local derby for Boxing Day this year, the first match of four in eight days. Last season we took a big step towards our first title in fifty years by winning all our Christmas and New Year fixtures; in previous seasons we struggled to pick up points over the busy festive period.

Jose Mourinho is likely to have Asier Del Horno and Damien Duff back from injury. Del Horno has been out since injuring his thigh in the Premiership match against Sunderland on 10 September, while Duff suffered an Achilles injury during the victory over Wigan sixteen days ago. Both are likely to get a place on the bench.

Prediction: Fulham have not won at the Bridge since 1979 (since 1964 in the top flight) and are still without a win away from Craven Cottage this season. In the Premiership we have played the Cottagers eight times, winning five and drawing three. We have won the last five in all competitions against them, with victory in the League Cup last season as well. Add to that the fact that we haven’t conceded a goal in seven matches in all competitions and in 509 minutes (eight hours 29 minutes) of Premiership football, and the words ‘home’ and ‘banker’ spring to mind. 2-0.

Related links:

Chelsea 3 – 2 Fulham · Update

A proper local derby. It certainly roused me from my Boxing Day lethargy.

See Gallas, Lampard and Crespo’s goals here (downloadable zip files).

Match reports: BBC Sport; Sky Sports; ESPNSoccernet; Sporting Life; Official Chelsea FC Website; The Times; The Independent; The Guardian; Daily Telegraph.

Related links: