Chelsea have the chance to leapfrog West Brom this evening and close the gap on the two Manchester clubs at the top of the league.
Fulham know that a win against their neighbours will move them up a place and closer to the European places.
The two clubs have met at Chelsea a surprisingly low 39 times, this is due to the years of Fulham scrapping in the lower leagues fighting their way back up to the big time.
Chelsea don’t actually have too much of an advantage from these matches with 20 wins compared to Fulham’s 17 wins and just two draws.
Chelsea have 42 wins over Fulham in the history of all meetings between the two clubs.
However, in terms of goals between the side, Chelsea have a big advantage over Fulham with 58 goals at an average of 1.49 over Fulham’s 27 at an average of 0.69 per game.
This suggests that Fulham will head into the match this evening looking to defend first and then counter attack.
This match on Boxing Day last year produced a 1-1 draw with Chelsea narrowly winning the fixture in the 2010/2011 season 1-0.
The biggest win for Chelsea in recent memory came during the 2008/2009 season when the side won 3-1 at the Bridge.
You have to go as far back as the 1979/1980 season to find the last time that Fulham defeated Chelsea as the away team when they produced a superb 2-0 win in what was the old Second Division.
Fulham’s wins over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge have been sporadic although they have secured draws in two out of the last four seasons.
This head to head record shows that Chelsea are the dominant team in this local derby when they play at Stamford Bridge.
Considering this and the fact that Rafa Benitez is on the hunt for a first win, don’t expect too many dramatics, especially as Chelsea are under a lot of pressure to secure three points or see the gap from Manchester United and Manchester city get even bigger.
image: © Jason Bagley