Chelsea hosts Fulham at Stamford Bridge in the English Premier League on Saturday afternoon. The Blues have strung together three successive league wins at home and face a Cottagers side with four away losses in a row. Chelsea have won nine of their last 11 matches vs Fulham in all competitions.
The Blues are constantly taking one step forward before a setback. They were dire in a 2-1 loss at Man Utd and a 2-0 defeat at Everton a few days apart. Some favourable fixtures have seen Chelsea get back on track. They beat Sheffield United at home in the league and won on penalties vs Newcastle after a 1-1 home draw in the League Cup.
After a poor 2-1 loss at Wolves, they won three fixtures in a row. A 2-1 home win over Crystal Palace preceded a 3-2 win at Luton after leading 3-0 but nearly throwing away two points in the final 30 minutes. After beating Preston 4-0 at home in the FA Cup, Chelsea were awful in a 1-0 midweek defeat at Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
Chelsea Team News
The Blues are without Robert Sanchez in goal and all of Wesley Fofana, Reece James, and Marc Cucurella at the back. Ben Chilwell and Benoit Badiashile are close to returning from injuries.
Romeo Lavia and Lesley Ugochukwu won’t play any part in midfield. Nicolas Jackson is at the AFCON and Christopher Nkunku is doubtful with a hip injury. Armando Broja is set for a recall in attack.
The Blues are chasing a fourth straight league win at home. A draw will feel like a defeat.
Pochettino will look to control the game with plenty of men behind the ball.
Fulham’s results are a mixed bag. They had a poor run with four defeats in six in the league before suddenly winning 5-0 in consecutive matches at home to Nottingham Forest and Fulham. Three Premier League defeats came next.
They lost 3-0 away at Newcastle before a 2-0 loss at home to Burnley and a 3-0 defeat at AFC Bournemouth. A win at home vs Arsenal (2-1) saw a fine performance before beating Rotherham United 1-0 at home in the FA Cup. In midweek, they lost 2-1 at Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
Fulham Team News
Adama Traore remains doubtful for this match. Calvin Bassey, Fode Ballo-Toure, and Alex Iwobi are all unavailable due to their involvement at the AFCON. Tim Ream is back in contention but is not expected to start.
There could be a little rotation to the side. Harry Wilson and Kenny Tete are the main candidates to come into the starting XI.
The Cottagers were very dangerous on the break at Anfield and will use fast transitions in this match.
They will play an open style and take the game to Chelsea. A point would be seen as a good result.
Chelsea have won their last 3 home EPL matches
Chelsea have lost just once in 14 matches vs Fulham
Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in their last 6 home matches vs Fulham (all competitions)
Fulham have just 1 win in 10 away EPL matches this season
Fulham have lost their last 4 away EPL matches
It’s a tough match to call. Fulham are capable of an upset whilst the Blues have a great record in this fixture.