Chelsea boss Rafael Benítez wary of Fulham threat ahead of derby
Rafael Benítez is expecting Fulham to provide a stern test of Chelsea's top-four credentials at Craven Cottage on Wednesday
Rafael Benítez is expecting Fulham to provide a stern test of Chelsea’s top-four credentials when the Blues travel to Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.
Chelsea head into the London derby on the back of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Manchester City, which left the Blues with the Europa League as their last remaining shot at silverware this season.
Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League table but could find themselves four points adrift of third-placed Arsenal if the Gunners beat Everton on Tuesday.
And Benítez is braced for a testing clash against Martin Jol’s men, who are 10th in the league, as Chelsea look to secure Champions League qualification.
“Fulham are a very good team, you can see the level they’ve been at in the Premier League for a while,” the Spaniard told a news conference on Tuesday.
“Derbies are different, anything can happen but hopefully we can do well and keep history with us.
“After the [City] game and on the day after we were really disappointed and a bit sad as were very close, but it’s now the day before the Fulham match and we are ready, focused, and thinking about this game.”
The Chelsea interim boss also revealed that defenders Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill are set to miss Wednesday’s clash through injury, while Marko Marin is a doubt for the game.
“Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill are progressing and doing well but they won’t be ready for this game,” he said.
“Marko Marin had a little problem but has been training today. He had a problem with his thigh but it’s nothing serious.”