Mad scramble in the Fulham box leads to a corner but Chelsea fail to take advantage - and that's the end of the action. Poor effort from the home side. Report and reaction to follow
Mistake by Senderos plays the Fulham defence into trouble but Chelsea fail to punish the former Arsenal man.
Sidwell clears the danger as Chelsea look for the killer blow.
Mata pours forward to win a corner but Riise heads the ball clear.
Rodallega makes way for Fulham
Hazard makes way for Marko Marin. Benitez hardly going for broke here.
Torres volleys across the area after peeling off his marker but his effort is cleared off the line by Aaron Hughes.
Another half chance for Torres but again the ball will not break kindly for the Spaniard.
Good save by Cech to deny a left-footed effort from Riise. Fulham starting to look dangerous on the break.
Berbatov's free-kick hits the wall then balloons into the arms of Cech.
Frei enters the fray for Karagounis
Luiz obstructs Ruiz as Fulham break. Dangerous free-kick
Ivanovic appears to throw himself to the ground in the Fulham area but gets nothing for his theatrics.
Booking for Romeu for preventing a Fulham breakaway.
Good combination between Mata and Hazard but comes to nothing. Chelsea are upping the tempo here.
Baird lets fly with a 30-yard free-kick but his daisy-cutter is easily gathered by Cech.
Ivanovic is the first man cautioned. A frustrating night so far for the Chelsea defender.
Mata's first meaningful contribution is a dangerous left-footed corner which is flicked wide by Ivanovic
Chris Baird is introduced by Fulham in place of Diarra.
Time for Juan Mata to try and influence this game. He comes on for Ryan Bertrand.
Berbatov eases his way forward and sets up Karagounis but the Greek's shot is easy for Cech.
Oscar has the chance to build some pressure but his corner comes to nothing.
The home crowd are getting agitated now with the Blues struggling to find any inspiration. Is it time for Benitez to act and make a change or two?
Great chance for John Arne Riise after he fails to take full advantage of a fabulous ball Giorgos Karagounis. The ball sat up nicely for the former Liverpool star's favoured left foot but he failed to find the contact to beat Petr Cech.
Diarra picks out a Berbatov run but the Bulgarian is flagged offside.
Chelsea looking a little more threatening so far in the second half but the Fulham defence still looks solid.
Oscar and Hazard combine but the Brazilian can't quite get on the end of the Belgian's dangerous ball.
Luiz goes long to try and pick out Hazard but the ball drops beyond the Belgian.
We're back at the Bridge. Let's hope for better in the second period. It can't be any worse surely?!?!
Chelsea legend Charlie Cooke is presented to the Stamford Bridge crowd at the break. The fans chant "Bring Him On" in response to a poor first period.
So a pretty ordinary first period marked only by a moment of humour from the Fulham faithful who chanted 'We Want Mark Clattenburg' when a decision went against them.
A half time update from Sky Bet. Chelsea remain odds-on (8/13) to come out of this one with three points in the bag, with the draw now available at 15/8. The Cottagers can be backed at 7/1 for the win, while they go 3/1 for there to be no goalscorer.
The half-time whistle goes and is greeted by murmurs of discontent amongst the Stamford Bridge crowd. Let's hope for better after the break.
No added time. The interval whistle can't come soon enough. Been a tepid first period. Let's hope Benitez can spark his new charges into life.
Sidwell is penalised 25 yards out. Luiz again sets up the free-kick and lays it short to Azpilicueta but the set play fizzles out. Awful stuff.
Berbatov is caught in possession on the edge of his own penalty area. The ball breaks to Cole but he's unable to take advantage and Schwarzer gathers.
Hazard plays in a dangerous corner which is flicked on by Oscar but the ball fizzes across the area without Chelsea managing to apply the killer touch.
Oscar looks to set up Torres but the ball evades the Spaniard and Fulham clear the danger.
Rodallega manages Fulham's first shot on target - but his effort is straight at Cech.
Berbatov is strutting around with that air of arrogance he often conveys. Looks dangerous - if Fulham can provide the Bulgarian with the right service which they're struggling to do at the moment.
Torres goes to ground on the edge of the area after the merest of touches from Duff. Looked a soft free-kick to me but it comes to nothing anyway as Hazard hits the ball straight into the two-man wall.
Duff makes a foray into the Chelsea half but he lacks support and is unable to get a telling cross into the danger area.
Half an hour in and we have our first shot on target. Torres turns smartly onto Cesar Azpilicueta's neat pass but the Spanish striker's shot is straight at Mark Schwarzer who gathers easily.
Fulham still passing the ball around patiently but with little cutting edge. Berbatov keeps coming deep to try and get a foothold in the game.
Handball against Hugo Rodallega in a dangerous position. Luiz lines the free-kick up but his effort flies at least five yards over the bar. Poor attempt from the Brazilian.
Chelsea still to get out of first gear here. Not a sniff of a decent effort on goal so far from the hosts - or the visitors for that matter.
Oscar tries to play another clever little through ball behind the Fulham defence to Torres but Senderos responds well to cut the pass out.
Right on cue the Chelsea fans rise to chant 'There's only one Di Matteo'. A clear message to Mr Abramovich.
Oscar slips in Bertrand in a dangerous position but he's unable to find a way across the six yard box.
Hazard looks to pick out Torres but Senderos is there first at the expense of a corner. It's played short to the Belgian but he fails to pick out a killer ball and Fulham are able to clear.
Very flat atmosphere at the moment at the Bridge. Hardly a passionate London derby so far.
Fulham look content to play the ball around at the back. So far so good for the visitors who look comfortable in possession.
Hazard tricks his way forward and slips in Ramires but his shot ends up in the top tier. Awful effort.
Luiz plays a long ball forward for Torres to chase into the channels. He loses possession then fouls Karagounis in a vain attempt to get the ball back.
Chelsea old boy Duff concedes a free kick in a dangerous position after a foul on Hazard but Sidwell gets good distance with his clearing header.
We're underway at Stamford Bridge as Fulham give Schwarzer an early touch.
No boos for Benitez as he takes his seat in the dugout.
The Chelsea fans cheering the team line-up as it is announced over the tannoy. Will they greet their new 'gaffer' with the same enthusiasm?
The teams are appearing in the tunnel. Not long to kick off now.
So can Fernando Torres find form v Fulham? He is 7/2 with @skybet to score first. 9/2 for a brace.
Stamford Bridge starting to fill up with 15 minutes to go until kick off. Looking around for any repeat of the 'Benitez Out' banners - but no sign at the moment.
Akshet says: It's going to be hard to accept Benitez among the Chelsea faithful, and Rafa knows that himself. He will be going out today to prove the fans wrong. And I think the players will also want to turn their poor form around. 2-1 Chelsea. Berbatov will open the scoring but Oscar will score a double to win the game.
Cian says: I think Chelsea will do well under Rafa Benitez its just i dont think the wins will come in quick enough, but it is fulham (no offence to any fulham fans!) but I think Chelsea will come out on top! 2-1 Chelsea
@sammyboy_27 tweets: Think Rafa has made the right decision about leaving mikel out, this will give us a chance for me creativity, chelsea 3-1
No surprise to see Chelsea, in spite of their recent indifferent form, are hot favourites with SkyBet tonight. They price them at 2/5 while Fulham are 13/2 to come away with a victory. The draw is available at 15/4.
Nigel is on email and says: "Been a season ticket holder at Chelsea for over twenty years. Hated it on Sunday, didn't feel right with Benitez as manager, bad atmosphere throughout the stadium. Sitting at home tonight, and couldn't bring myself to go. Will not renew my three season tickets if he stays after the summer. Used to do all away uk and European games, but not now, until he goes. Will never be accepted and he knows it." Is that the general feeling amongst the Blues faithful?
@evankydd tweets: I do like Benitez, done well with Liverpool and I think he can do well with Chelsea! However, RDM is missed! Forever a blue!
First Tweet in from @Mattelondon who says: Give the man a chance. He knows he is in until end of season, he can win 4 trophies but I would love Pep or Mourinho!
And here's the Chelsea team in full: Cech (c); Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Romeu; Hazard, Oscar, Bertrand; Torres. - subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Cahill, Mikel, Marin, Mata, Moses.
Here's the Fulham starting XI for tonight: Schwarzer; Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise; Duff; Sidwell, Diarra, Karagounis; Berbatov, Rodallega
So have any of you Chelsea fans started to warm to Benitez? Let me know your thoughts ahead of kick off - firstname.lastname@example.org - or get in touch via Twitter; I'm @skysportswebed
Welcome to our live coverage from Stamford Bridge as Rafa Benitez goes for a first win as Chelsea boss. We're still awaiting team news but I'll bring it as soon as we get it.
Kick-off is 1945 GMT.