CLUB COLOURS: Blue
STADIUM: Stamford Bridge
PREMIER LEAGUE POSITION 2012/13: 3rd
LAST FIVE LEAGUE RESULTS: Everton (h) won 1-0, West Brom (a) drew 1-1, Newcastle United (h) won 3-0, Manchester City (a) won 1-0, West Ham United (h) drew 0-0
THE GAFFER: Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed “Special One”, is back at Stamford Bridge for a second spell and Chelsea fans couldn’t be happier. He won two consecutive Premier League titles with the club between 2004 and 2006 and will be looking to have similar success this time around. Jose claims to now be the “Happy One” instead of special, but with two Champions League wins plus domestic Championships in England, Spain, Italy and Portugal – it’s hard to deny he still has that magic quality as a football manager.
THE TACTICS: Chelsea and Mourinho favour the 4-2-3-1 formation, with the three players behind the striker usually the ones who cause the damage to opposition teams. The Blues have an abundance of quality in the attacking midfield positions and will look to use the passing ability of players such as Eden Hazard, Willian and Oscar to open up Fulham’s back line. Fulham will need to make sure no space is between their defence and midfield in order to deny these players gaps to operate in. While dangerous going forward, Mourinho’s side are resilient at the back – keeping 20 clean sheets from their 41 games in all competitions.
EDEN HAZARD (pictured): The flying Belgian winger has enjoyed a fine season to date, and has arguably been the Blues’ best player. The 23-year-old has hit 14 goals in 36 matches, and has been a consistent threat to Premier League defences with his close control and skill. He’s a player that loves to take opponents on when cutting in from the left flank and has rapidly established himself as one of the league’s leading attacking talents.
OSCAR: While the little Brazilian may not be playing to the level he was early on in the season, there’s a feeling amongst Chelsea fans that the 22-year-old will return to peak form just in time to fire the Blues to a strong finish to the campaign. Nine goals in 35 games so far, the attacking midfielder catches the eye as a result of his quick-feet and fine range of passing. It’s not just about silky Samba skills, though, Oscar also boasts high levels work rate and energy.
NEMANJA MATIC: The Serbia international returned to Stamford Bridge for a second spell in January following an impressive three-and-a-half seasons in Portugal with Benfica. The 25-year-old is a powerful presence in the Blues’ midfield, offering Jose Mourinho’s back four steely protection. At 6ft 4in, Matic relishes the physical demands of the Premier League and looks set to establish himself as one of the best holding midfielders around.
2 – Clubs Jose Mourinho managed between his first and current spell at Chelsea
4 – Times Chelsea have won the League
50 – Million pounds Chelsea spent on striker Fernando Torres in 2011
203 – Record number of Chelsea goals scored by Frank Lampard
41,837 – Capacity of Stamford Bridge