Roy Hodgson is looking forward to pitting his wits against Carlo Ancelotti but admits that taking anything from the SW6 derby with Chelsea will be a tall order.
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. 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.
Hodgson is looking forward to renewing acquantancies with Ancelotti, whom he faced in his days managing Udinese in Serie A.
The players seem to have taken to him and his methods. Chelsea have been impressive for the last four or five years whoever has been in charge and they certainly won’t be any weaker with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm.
Fulham will definitely be without Andy Johnson tomorrow, although there could be some good news as the former Everton forward’s injury doesn’t appear as serious as first feared. Despite the loss of his joint top scorer from last term, Hodgson doesn’t envisage making any change to the way his side will play.
We have less options now we have lost Andy but we have front players who can go in for one to ones and midfield players who can play up front so I don’t think our general style will change enormously whichever option we choose.