Fulham v Chelsea: Rafael Benitez not 'wasting time' analysing statistics ahead of west London derby
Chelsea are battling for a place in the top four
Wednesday 17 April 2013
Rafael Benitez normally likes statistics, but the Chelsea interim boss has had no time for numbers ahead of tonight's west London derby at Fulham where three Barclays Premier League points is all that matters.
Chelsea are bidding to consolidate their place in the top four and a Champions League qualifying spot by winning their game in-hand over Tottenham.
Benitez said: "I haven't wasted any second thinking about how many (points) we need. It's just the next three points.
"I'm just thinking about the next game. I don't waste time when you have so many games.
"You cannot be doing numbers all the time. It depends on the other teams."
Spurs and Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge on May 8 in what could effectively be a Champions League play-off.
But Benitez, who takes Chelsea to his former club Liverpool in another key game on Sunday, anticipates the race to the top four will continue until the final day of the campaign.
He said: "Hopefully we can be there. I don't know who will be with us.
"The league will go until the end of the season. Hopefully I am wrong and we will be qualified before (then), but I think it will be until the end of the season."
Experience is key at this stage of the season.
Benitez added: "The head makes the difference. At the end of the season it's more important to be strong mentally and approach every game with the belief you can win."
Chelsea have players with the requisite experience.
Frank Lampard and captain John Terry are expected to return at Craven Cottage, having been unused substitutes in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City.
Midfielder Lampard could be in the final months of his Chelsea career, with his contract expiring and the prospects of an extension uncertain, and is three short of overtaking Bobby Tambling as the club's record goalscorer.
"The main thing is the team," said Benitez of Lampard, who last scored against West Ham.
"I would like to see Frank breaking the record, for sure. (But) if I pick him it's because I think that he's a good player.
"I'm sure he can score goals. Hopefully he can score more than two and then he will break the record.
"We will be happy, he will be happy and that means maybe we can win more games. I think he will do it."
Fernando Torres is also anticipated to start tonight and a return to the bench at Anfield as Demba Ba is ineligible for next Thursday's Europa League semi-final first leg with Basle in Switzerland.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Emirates was the easy option for Mesut Ozil. He needs a leader - and Arsenal don't have them
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao
Cristiano Ronaldo shows off his dance moves, including the moonwalk
Terminally-ill Club Brugge fan Lorenzo Schoonbaert delays euthanasia appointment to see his beloved football club 'win one last time'
- 1 Autism 'caused by genetics', study suggests
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
- 4 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'