Saturday, August 22, 2009

live streaming Fulham Vs Chelsea




Sunday 23rd August 2009
Venue: Craven Cottage
Kick-off: 16:00

watch live on ESPN

Andrew Johnson will be absent from the Fulham squad for their match against Chelsea after manager Roy Hodgson confirmed the ligaments around the striker's collarbone snapped in a challenge during the 3-1 win over Amkar Perm.

Hodgson will give fitness tests to Erik Nevland (foot) and Dickson Etuhu (groin) after they were hurt in the same game while Toni Kallio is ruled out with an Achilles injury.

Simon Davies is on course to return from his foot injury while Jonathan Greening could go into the squad if his loan move from West Brom is completed.

Roy Hodgson is under no illusions as to how difficult it will be for Fulham to preserve their 100% record when they take on Chelsea.

The Cottagers go in to the derby full of confidence having registered two Europa League qualifying wins over Vetra, one over Russian side Amkar Perm and another in the league against Portsmouth.

Hodgson admits, however, that Fulham will have to up their game considerably if they are to have any chance of beating title contenders Chelsea.

"It's a very tough game for us because it's a local derby and they are a team who don't lose very many in the course of the season," said Hodgson.

"Everyone seems to think Chelsea this year will have a very good chance of challenging Manchester United and Liverpool for the title with Arsenal as slight outsiders in that group of four.

"When you are playing any of those teams either home or away you know you've got a real tough challenge on your hands.

"We've won all our matches so far and have only conceded one goal which is very satisfying but we know that out of those matches we have played none have been in the top four and we do know that when we do face one of those top four, we will be sorely tested.

"We'll have to play better than we have done in our last four games because the opponent is certainly a step or two higher than the opponents we have faced so far."

Chelsea will be without several first-team players.

New signing Yuri Zhirkov is sidelined with a knee injury while Juliano Belletti (Achilles) and defender Alex (groin) are also set to miss out for Carlo Ancelotti's men.

Joe Cole (knee) and Paulo Ferreira (knee) return to training with the first team next Tuesday.

Carlo Ancelotti insists Andriy Shevchenko has a future at Stamford Bridge despite playing just one game in the last 15 months for the Blues.

The Ukraine striker spent last season on loan under Ancelotti at AC Milan and the Italian coach clearly believes he can get the best out of him in England.

Shevchenko replaced Deco in the second half of their 3-1 victory over Sunderland on Tuesday night.

It was the forward's first appearance in a Chelsea shirt since he scored against Bolton in May 2008.

Shevchenko failed to settle in England and departed for Milan when former boss Luiz Felipe Scolari took charge.

The frontman will be 33 at the end of this month but Ancelotti insists he could have a real part to play in their season.

"At present he is a Chelsea player and in the future he will be the same," said Ancelotti.

"Now he is better condition but we have a lot of strikers at the moment and for him it is not easy to find a place on the pitch.

"He trains very well with no problem and he is very happy to stay. He has a good position in the squad because his team-mates like his work.

"There is a good atmosphere in the team and he knows it is not easy to play for Chelsea because the competition is high in the squad.

"Shevchenko had a physical problem last year but now he has overcome that and we can use his quality for the team this year.

"He has no problem staying here. He wants to play but all the players want to play. When they don't play it is difficult to maintain a good feeling, a good atmosphere and motivation. But now he has a good motivation.

"He does not have a mental problem. He is well. But I have to choose who plays and it is not easy."

Shevchenko's age is not an issue for Ancelotti either. The Italian coach is used to selecting players who are in the twilight of their careers.

Last season he kept faith with 40-year-old Paolo Maldini along with 35-year-olds Dida and Filippo Inzaghi among others.

"I used, in the last year, 38-, 39- and 40-year-olds because these players have experience and a good mental attitude.

"We won a lot with players with experience."