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Chelsea v Fulham

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Benitez: Take two

Benitez: Take two

Chelsea will be hoping to return to winning ways and close the gap at the top of the standings when they host London rivals Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

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The Blues took on Manchester City at the weekend in what was interim coach Rafael Benitez's first game in charge since succeeding Roberto Di Matteo last week, although the Spaniard had to settle for a point as the tie ended goalless.

That result saw the west Londoners drop to fourth in the standings, five points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United, while they sit four behind City and one off third-placed West Brom.

They are also winless in their last five league matches, having drawn three and lost two, while their UEFA Champions League title defence hangs by a thread with one group match still to play and their progression out of their own hands.

Meanwhile, the Cottagers will be looking to avoid a third straight league defeat, and break a run of five matches without victory, as they hope to avoid dropping into the bottom-half of the table.

A win for Martin Jol's side could lift them into eighth above West Ham, depending on results elsewhere this week.

In team news, Chelsea are sweating over the fitness of Daniel Sturridge, but Frank Lampard and John Terry will both miss out through injury.

Fulham will be without injured duo Alex Kacaniklic and Bryan Ruiz, while Brede Hangeland is suspended.

Posted: 27/11/12 08:34

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