Chris Coleman warned Jose Mourinho his Fulham side willl be bursting to upset Chelsea’s Championship applecart at Stamford Bridge today.
If Chelsea anticipate an easy ride against their modest neighbours they can think again, insisted Coleman. He said: “We have to get in there and get amongst them. They are the big brother from down the road and we have to take it to them.”
Coleman hopes Fulham can build on draws with West Ham and Charlton to capture at least another point from a third Christmas London derby.
t least the absence of John Terry encourages Fulham to believe they can add to the six goals conceded in four matches by Chelsea without their defensive rock.
Coleman added: “I’ve said for the last three years that he is the best defender and the best centre back and he would be a big miss from any team.
“Don’t get me wrong. They have Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho but with Terry it’s not just his play, he does a lot of talking and a lot of organising and if he was in any team you would miss that organisation.”
Sadly for Coleman his firepower has been weakened as Heidar Helguson is banned and Collins John will partner the in-form Brian McBride up front.
He added: “If we had both McBride and Helguson it would have been very interesting with them going in attacking crosses. No one likes playing against them and it would have been a bombardment in the box.”
John will present a different sort of challenge for Carvalho and Ferreira as he prefers to run on to a pass rather than using his body as artillery.
Coleman looks close to bringing in two fresh faces early in the January window.
A £1.5m fee has been agreed with MLS American international Clint Dempsey, who will join the club if a tribunal approves his work permit application.
Coleman explained: “He is a little bit short of the required international appearances but if the tribunal goes our way he might be a Fulham player in time for the FA Cup weekend.”
And former Italy international striker Vincenzo Montella, 32, will this morning undergo the second day of a medical at the club’s training ground before going to the Stamford Bridge clash.