After their FA Cup semi-final exit, Chelsea will hope to seize on a midweek chance to move third in the Premier League table by beating Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Rafa Benitez’s Blues are 18/25 favourites to win the match with the Champions League places in their sights, whereas having reached the 40-point milestone with a draw at Aston Villa on Saturday, local bragging rights might be the main motivation for Fulham. Martin Jol’s men are 7/2 shouts to win and 11/4 to draw – the last five meetings between the sides have ended all square after 90 minutes.
Here are a few stats to tuck into ahead of kick-off in what could be a tasty west London derby:
0: Of the two sides’ last five meetings in all competitions, three have not seen a single goal scored. The odds of another goalless derby are 9/1.
2: For the third time this season, Chelsea go into a match having suffered two losses in a row. You have to go back to 2006 to find the last time the Blues lost three on the bounce (the end of the 05/06 season and the Community Shield), and odds of 19/100 on double chance betting say Chelsea will avoid another defeat.
3: Dimitar Berbatov has scored the first goal in three out of Fulham’s last four home matches. The canny Bulgarian is 7/1 to open the scoring tonight.
20: The number of times in the last 23 meetings in all competitions have the Cottagers have failed to score more than once. The odds of Fulham failing to score are 33/20, while it is 7/5 that they net once.
31: Chelsea have scored 31 first half goals in their 31 league matches this season. You can back the Blues to score once in the first half at odds of 29/20.