Premier League Preview: Fulham v Chelsea
By Football News
Fulham will seek to boost their flagging survival hopes and dent Chelsea's title ambitions when the west London rivals clash on Saturday.
Felix Magath takes charge of a home fixture for the first time when Premier League leaders and neighbours Chelsea visit Craven Cottage this weekend, but the German faces a daunting task in arresting an alarming run of form.
Fulham have failed to win in the last seven league games, a run that has left them rooted to the bottom of the table and four points adrift of safety.
Magath came within four minutes of winning his first match in charge in last Saturday's visit to West Brom, only for Matej Vydra to spoil the welcome party in the closing stages and earn a 1-1 draw.
There appears to be little evidence to suggest that Magath's second game in the Fulham dugout will be any more successful, with Fulham winning just one of the 25 Premier League meetings between the sides, while Chelsea have triumphed on 14 occasions.
A large part of Fulham's problems stem from a leaky defence, with their backline having conceded 59 times in the league in 2013-14, more than any other side in the top flight.
By contrast, table-topping Chelsea have the sternest defence in the Premier League, with Jose Mourinho's men shipping just 21 goals.
Chelsea have not tasted defeat in the Premier League since a 3-2 loss at Stoke at the start of December, a run that stretches 12 matches.
The Stamford Bridge outfit are top of the table by a solitary point from second-placed Arsenal, but Chelsea needed a 93rd-minute goal from veteran midfielder Frank Lampard to defeat Everton last time out in the league.
Mourinho's team have had a quick turnaround in fixtures, having secured a 1-1 draw at Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
But if the Portuguese's charges make a slow start, the visiting fans have no need to panic as Chelsea have recovered more points from losing positions than other side in the Premier League, collecting 14 when going behind.
Fulham are thought to have no fresh injury worries ahead of the match, while Chelsea are likely to once more be without David Luiz as the Brazilian centre-back has a muscle injury.