home Chelsea (23-6-6)
Full Time
away Fulham (9-23-3)
venue: Stamford Bridge
Goal Scorers

Fulham-Chelsea Preview

LONDON (SE) - Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez will face another tricky Stamford Bridge evening when his side host Fulham on Wednesday.

The new Chelsea boss was booed by home fans before and during the stalemate with Manchester City on Sunday, but insists that he will win the fans over.

"I have been here in England for eight years - the good thing is I don't understand the things people sing," said Benitez. "When the fans are singing - home fans or away fans - I don't care...I am just focused on the game.

"I want to change their (Chelsea fans) perception. How? Working hard, do my best and win games. If we start performing, if we start winning games they will come on board. The manager wants to win every game, and so do the fans, so we will win together."

Former manager Roberto Di Matteo was not just popular with the fans, but also the players. However, club stalwart Petr Cech has reminded his teammates that they will have to move on.

"You adapt or you're out. It's as simple as that," said the goalkeeper following the 0-0 draw with the Premier League Champions. "You're here to play, you're here to do what the club and manager wants you to do. If you don't like it, you can leave. I'm here to play, I want to play so I do everything I can straight away so that the manager has no option but to put me in goal. That's the way I work and is the way it works for everybody because, if you stay sad and don't do the right things, you can end up on the bench and you're not playing and it will be even more disappointing.

"It is up to us to have a good run of results for the fans to change their minds. The manager surely deserves to have a chance and it's up to us to make things happen and make them happy."

Chelsea are without Daniel Sturridge (hamstring), John Terry (knee) and Frank Lampard (calf). Benitez's main selection decision is likely to centre around the back-four, where Gary Cahill was left out to allow Branislav Ivanovic to play centrally on Sunday. Further up the field, Victor Moses will be hopeful of a start.

Fulham are without Bryan Ruiz (hamstring), Alexander Kacaniklic (hamstring), Kieran Richardson (hamstring) and Simon Davies (thigh). The Cottagers are expected to make changes from the team that lost 1-0 at Stoke at the weekend, with Hugo Rodallega, Damien Duff and Mahamadou Diarra all pushing for a starting berth.

Brede Hangeland will again be absent for Fulham as he serves the second of a three-match ban for his red card against Sunderland, but manager Martin Jol is hopeful that the centre-back is close to signing a new contract at the club.

"We are talking to Hangeland," revealed the Dutchman. "He knows what we've offered him is good so hopefully he will make a decision in the next month or so. We're optimistic."

The last meeting between these teams ended 1-1 at Craven Cottage, with Clint Dempsey equalising late on following Frank Lampard's penalty. The game at Stamford Bridge last season also ended 1-1, with Dempsey again scoring the equaliser - this time after Juan Mata had given the Blues the lead. The last four games between these two have all ended in draws - although Chelsea had won four on the bounce prior to that run. Goals have been in short supply in this fixture, with just five scored in the last five meetings over the last two seasons.

Last Updated: 6:50 PM EST