Chelsea vs. Fulham: Lineups & Game Thread

Tactical rafalution - Clive Rose

Insert something clever about Fernando Torres here.

Chelsea could use a win. Rafa Benitez could use a win, too - and some Hydroxycut.

Kidding aside, this could be viewed in most circles as a pretty pivotal fixture for Chelsea. A win, which would represent our first in five Premier League matches, coupled with a non-win from Steve Clarke's West Bromwich Albion against Swansea City would vault Chelsea into third place. Anything but three points, and I predict those boos that accompanied Rafa on the weekend will move into Spinal Tap territory. These go to 11.

As for Rafa's team tonight, the waiter has given John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata (but he's Spanish?) a rest. Both are on the bench. Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand have been drafted into the starting XI. Either way, seems a bit cautious for Fulham at home. Shocker.

Team Sheets
Chelsea

1 Petr Cech, 2 Branislav Ivanovic, 3 Ashley Cole 4 David Luiz, 28 Cesar Azpilicueta, 34 Ryan Bertrand, 6 Oriol Romeu, 7 Ramires, 11 Oscar, 17 Eden Hazard, 9 Fernando Torres. Bench: 22 Ross Turnbull, 19 Paulo Ferreira, 24 Gary Cahill, 10 Juan Mata, 12 John Obi Mikel, 13 Victor Moses, 21 Marko Marin

Fulham
1 Mark Schwarzer, 3 John Arne Riise, 4 Philippe Senderos, 18 Aaron Hughes, 27 Sascha Riether, 7 Steve Sidwell, 14 Giorgos Karagounis, 16 Damien Duff, 19 Mahamadou Diarra, 9 Dimitar Berbatov, 20 Hugo Rodallega. Bench: 38 Neil Etheridge, 2 Stephen Kelly, 6 Chris Baird, 8 Pajtim Kasami, 21 Kerim Frei, 10 Mladen Petric, 24 Ashkan Dejagah.

Remember, refrain from shady commentary and keep the illegal streaming links to yourself. Enjoy the match and, of course, all of the quality banter around these parts. Up the Chels.

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