Friday, May 25, 2018

EPL Preview: Chelsea v. Fulham

Chelsea will look to regain their form against Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night.

Chelsea will look to regain their form against Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night.

The Blues have suffered back-to-back defeats to Everton and FC Basel, and have endured their worst start in the Premier League in the Roman Abramovich era.

Despite the club’s poor form, Jose Mourinho — who took responsibility for the loss against Basel in midweek — has insisted everyone must ‘keep calm.’

“I am the manager, I am responsible for everything,” the Portuguese Sky Sports.

“Especially after a bad result. In the good moments I want everyone to shine, in the bad moments I want everyone to keep calm.

“Tomorrow I will not wake up with a smile on my face but at seven o’clock I will work hard to get three points against Fulham.

“In the next match, we go to Bucharest [in the Champions League], we have to get the points to put us in the Champions League. We don’t want to play in the Europa League.”

However, before Chelsea travel to Bucharest, they must face Fulham at the weekend.

Fulham (1-2-2) have not won since the opening day of the season at Sunderland.

The Cottagers narrowly escaped an embarrassing defeat at the hands of League Two side Burton Albion in Round 2 of the Capital One Cup on 27 August, winning by the slimmest of margins (5-4) on penalties after being held to a 2-2 draw at the infamous Pirelli Stadium.

Players to Watch

For Chelsea, Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Eden Hazard have been the standout performers this season, while strikers Andre Schürrle, Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o have been out-of-sorts, to put it mildly.

On the other side of the touchline, Fulham top performers thus far have been Aaron Hughes and one-time Gunner Philippe Senderos, with significant contributions from Bryan Ruiz and Pajtim Kasami.

New signing Fernando Amorebieta has made just one appearance for Fulham this season, and should not start against the Blues on Saturday given his dubious disciplinary record, which includes 13 red cards since 2005.

Last season, Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw in this fixture, as then-manager Rafael Benitez was booed off the pitch by the club’s supporters.

Betting Odds

Although Fulham earned a point from this fixture last term, the Blues are massive favourites to take all three points this time around, and rightfully so.

Chelsea (2/7) v. Fulham (10/1); Draw (9/2)

No matter how poor the Blues’ current run of form, do not place a hero bet on Fulham. The Cottagers did not score against Chelsea last season, and it would probably be unreasonable to think they could find the back of the net at the Bridge.


Shawn Etemadi



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