Hughes Returns To Old Stomping Ground

Chelsea entertain Fulham this evening looking to make up for lost ground in the title race after the defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

Chelsea old boy Mark Hughes brings his 13th place Fulham side to Stamford Bridge looking to put one over on his own club.

Didier Drogba will return to lead the line despite his malaria scare, as will Essien who should be fit again after a toe injury, however Alex and Anelka are both ruled out due to ankle and back injuries respectively.

Bosingwa is expected to start at right back, with Ivanovic and Terry centrally, and Ashley Cole playing the role of best left back in the world. Mikel should partner Essien in the middle, however Ancelotti could go for the Zhirkov, or Ramires in the left midfield slot. Malouda and Kalou should line up either side of Drogba up front.

Fulham face a tough challenge at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea have played five and won five, with 16 goals scored and none seen in reply. We currently sit atop the Permiership, two points ahead of United who are away this evening to rivals City.

Florent Malouda indicated the team are focused after the defeat to Liverpool; “Every week it is different, but the only thing that matters is that we focus on our performances, and if we win we are still first let’s just focus, get back to winning and once we do that we can enjoy the league table at the end of the day.”

“I would say that every time we put in a good performance we are unbeatable at home or away, but sometimes like on Sunday it is difficult to start a game due to some circumstances, but all that matters is the result, we always have a great feeling when we play at home in front of our fans, we have achieved some great results in the past, beating a lot of big teams, and sometimes we were given a hard time but at home we have that extra character and motivation that can help us come back from bad situations. ”

“Obviously it is a great opportunity for us first to react to defeat,” said the Frenchman, “and then to increase that gap on top of the league.”

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