JOSE Mourinho says he is expecting a tough examination from Fulham, because they have so many years of experience in the top flight to call upon.
The Saturday tea-time clash is the first of two weekend derbies for the Blues – with a trip to Spurs coming up next week – and the Chelsea boss knows how demanding those matches can be.
“I think they [Fulham] have a very good, experienced manager and an experienced team with players completely adapted to the Premier League,” Mourinho said.
“They know everything about the Premier League derbies. A midfield of [Scott] Parker and [Steve] Sidwell. This is a great example of experience at this level. They know how to play.
“They have talented players in attack. In the centre [Dimitar] Berbatov, and [Darren]Bent is fast. I think they are a difficult opponent.
“At Stamford Bridge, they show it’s not easy. In seven matches I think they drew four times at the Bridge so the situation is close. We need points. They need points. They have different objectives to us. A local derby is always a local derby. I think it’ll be a proper derby.”
The Blues have no injury worries ahead of the match as they try to recover from successive defeats to Everton in the league and FC Basel in the Champions League.