Thursday, April 25, 2024

Prediction: Fulham vs Chelsea

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Luckster

With west London bragging rights up for grabs on Monday night, Chelsea will travel to Craven Cottage when they meet Fulham.

Fulham

Starting with the hosts, while Fulham might have entered September’s international break with a routine 5-1 drumming at the hands of defending champions Manchester City, the Cottagers have once again impressed many across the Premier League this season. Last seen extending on their EFL Cup adventure thanks to a 2-1 victory against Championship outfit Norwich, Marco Silva’s men have their sights firmly set on claiming another top-half finish this time around. Suffering just a single defeat from their previous six appearances across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Brentford on August 19th – the former Everton boss has also seen his squad continue to shine on home soil. Including a 1-0 win against top-flight returners Luton a fortnight ago, Fulham have won each of their last three showdowns at Craven Cottage.

Team News

In what is a real blow, Fulham will be unable to call upon defensive talisman Calvin Bassey as the former Ajax star picked up a back injury against Norwich last week. Likewise, Silva’s side still remain without summer arrival and ex-Wolves attack Adama Traore due to a thigh strain.

While Raul Jimenez might still be waiting to open his Premier League account after making the move to Craven Cottage this summer, the Mexico international will spearhead Fulham’s charge on Monday night.

Chelsea

As for the visitors, while Chelsea might have turned to Mauricio Pochettino over the summer in an attempt to steady the ship, it is fair to say that the Premier League heavyweights are in the midst of an extended crisis. Despite extending on their EFL Cup adventure last week as they edged past Brighton thanks to a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge, the Blues have remarkably claimed just a single top-flight win from their opening six appearances. Coming under a huge amount of scrutiny and once again battling it out at the foot of the Premier League table, the former Tottenham boss will have a mounting headache over his side’s extended issues in the final third. Last seen in top-flight action getting hit with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa on September 24th, Pochettino’s squad have drawn a blank in each of their previous three Premier League showdowns.

Team News

Still dealing with what is a stacked injury list, Chelsea will once again be unable to call upon the likes of Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia and summer arrival Christopher Nkunku. Shown a straight red card against Aston Villa on September 24th, Pochettino still remains without the suspended Malo Gusto.

On a similar note, already totting up five Premier League bookings in his opening six appearances, 22-year-old Nicolas Jackson will also serve a one-match ban here. Recently returning from a long-term knee injury, Albania international Armando Broja could make a first start of the season at Craven Cottage.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last met back on February 3rd, Fulham and Chelsea played out a 0-0 stalemate at Stamford Bridge.
    • The Cottages have lost just one of their last six appearances across all formats – a run that stems back to August 19th.
    • Monday’s guests have managed to muster just a single Premier League win from their opening six appearances so far this season.
    • Pochettino’s side have also failed to find the net in any of their previous three Premier League appearances.
    • Three of the last four Premier League meetings between Fulham and Chelsea have finished with under 2.5 goals.

    Conclusion

    While Chelsea might be desperate to claim a crucial Premier League boost on Monday night, the Blues could face another rugged test when they travel across west London. Still claiming just a single win from their opening six Premier League appearances, Pochettino’s struggling squad have also gained a major reputation for their glaring issues in the final third. Drawing a blank in each of their previous three top-flight contests, some in Fulham’s camp will be smelling the chance to lay down a real marker here. However, it is worth highlighting, with the two west London rivals playing out a 0-0 stalemate when they last met back on February 3rd at Stamford Bridge, three of their last four Premier League battles have finished with under 2.5 goals.

    Verdict: Both teams to score – No

    Best Odds: 11/10

    Bookmaker: Luckster

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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