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Ranieri: Playing against Chelsea arrives too soon, but I hope we can do a good derby

Reuters/Paul Childs

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri anticipates a special game against his old club Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday but is sure the game is to take place too soon for his new side.

The Italian managed at Stamford Bridge from 2000 to 2004 and steered Chelsea to the Champions League semi-finals but did not win a trophy.

He took charge of Fulham this month and attained the victory in his first match, a 3-2 home win over Southampton last weekend, that ended a series of 10 games without a victory.

“It’s special because when I meet my former teams, it’s always something special,” he told at the news conference on Friday.

“(But) for me, playing against Chelsea arrives too soon, because when you play against them you must be attentive. But we are working hard. I hope we can do a good derby.”

Fulham still prop up the table but are now level with Cardiff City and Southampton on eight points from 13 matches and only one point away from the safety zone.

It is their goal difference of minus 19 that has kept them in the basement spot with 33 goals conceded already this season.

Ranieri said he expected his whole team to defend and stop Fulham becoming the most porous team in a 38-game league season, the record held by Derby County who conceded 89 in 2007-08.

REUTERS/Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Ken Ferris

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