Fulham vs Chelsea Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats (2024)

Bottom-half strugglers Chelsea will travel the short distance across to Craven Cottage to face their neighbours Fulham in the West London derby on Monday night.

Monday night’s Premier League showdown sees Fulham entertain their underperforming West London neighbours Chelsea at Craven Cottage.

The Blues got back to winning ways in midweek when Nicolas Jackson notched the winning goal in a resilient 1-0 third-round victory over high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge to both ease the early pressure on himself and manager Mauricio Pochettino following a torrid start to the campaign.

It was not pretty by any means. But Chelsea managed to hold on and see out only their third victory in eight matches across all competitions so far this term, having ended a concerning goal drought that had almost reached 350 minutes in total after three consecutive blanks in the league before Jackson’s second strike of the season.

Despite spending more than £1 billion since Todd Boehly’s arrival at the helm, their fortunes have not improved at all. Chelsea currently sit 14th in the table with just one victory from their first six games, and they will be looking for only their second Premier League win of the campaign here.

Fulham, meanwhile, are playing pretty football like they did last term, but they are grinding out results right now. They were thrashed 5-1 at Manchester City, but they won’t be the last team to suffer at the Etihad and eased past Norwich City in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Currently sitting comfortably 11th in the Premier League table, the mood in Marco Silva’s camp is positive at the moment. They have been particularly solid at the back of late and are eyeing their third consecutive clean sheet in the English top flight.

The Cottagers are once again happy to cause a few problems to their most illustrious opponents and have so far already taken a point at Arsenal as well as knocking Tottenham Hotspur out of the Carabao Cup.Fulham won their most recent encounter 2-1 against Chelsea at Craven Cottage on January 12. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Fulham

💬 Team news: "Tosin and Adama will not be available. Kenny Tete will be assessed ahead of the game. Saša will be involved in the squad."#FULCHE pic.twitter.com/HJ4gSQNiYZ

— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) September 29, 2023

Marco Silva has two confirmed absentees for the derby clash against Chelsea, namely centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo (groin) and winger Adama Traore (thigh), both of whom sustained injuries in mid-September and will not be available before the international break.

Kenny Tete, who is nursing a groin problem, will be assessed late before the game and could return to the starting XI after missing Fulham’s last two games, while Calvin Bassey is also a doubt for the match, having come off with a slight knock against Norwich City in the Carabao Cup.

Midfielder Sasa Lukic is set to finally get back on the pitch after a prolonged spell on the sidelines. The Serbian midfielder has been missing for the Cottagers since the end of August with a knee injury.

Head coach Marco Silva is expected to line his side up in a 4-2-3-1 setup, with Bernd Leno a safe pair of hands in between the sticks. Tete and Antonee Robinson are expected to line up as the full-backs here, with Issa Diop and Tim Ream starting as a central defensive pairing.

Joao Palhinha’s return to the starting lineup has been crucial to their improved form in recent weeks. The Portuguese international will continue to form a double pivot alongside Harrison Reed. Andreas Pereira will be the creator-in-chief from the No. 10 position behind the main striker.

With Raul Jimenez still yet to score for Fulham, Silva will surely be considering Carlos Vinicius, who scored midweek, for the central striker role, while Alex Iwobi was also on target in the Carabao Cup and could be selected ahead of Bobby Decordova-Reid from the get-go here.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1):Leno; Tete, Ream, Diop, Robinson; Reed, Palhinha; Iwobi, Pereira, Willian; Vinicius

Fulham vs Chelsea Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats (1)

Chelsea

Chelsea’s extensive absentee list has shown no signs of dropping off, with Ben Chilwell’s name now added to it after picking up a hamstring problem in the Carabao Cup. Mauricio Pochettino could be without the services of up to 11 players for the trip to Fulham.

Nicolas Jackson grabbed a much-needed goal — his second of the season — in the midweek win over Brighton. But will be absent for the Fulham clash after somehow collecting five yellow cards in his first six games.

Malo Gusto is also suspended after receiving a straight red card against Aston Villa in the Premier League last weekend, leaving Pochettino incredibly light in the full-back position, with Reece James still sidelined.

Midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka, who suffered a knee injury following a flying start to the season, has returned to training and is expected to be on the bench at Craven Cottage. However, Benoit Badiashile, Marcus Bettinelli, Romeo Lavia, Trevoh Chalobah, Wesley Fofana, and Christopher Nkunku all remain out for this one.

Focused on Fulham. 🔜 pic.twitter.com/HJQ9n9l2y6

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 30, 2023

The defensive absentees mean that Pochettino will have to shuffle his backline around in front of goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, with out-of-favour left-back Marc Cucurella coming into the side as a makeshift right-back, while Levi Colwill will slot in as the left-back. Axel Disasi and Thiago Silva will form the central defensive pairing.

Conor Gallagher will partner Moises Caicedo at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield. Caicedo will look to break up the play, and the England international will be the box-to-box midfielder here. The Englishman will also be expected to provide defensive cover and add drive to the midfield.

Jackson’s suspension could also cause significant problems up top, with young Armando Broja only just returning from a long-term layoff. Pochettino may need to come up with a creative solution there as well. Raheem Sterling could lead the line, with Enzo Fernandez acting as the creative No. 10, flanked by the impressive Cole Palmer and misfiring Mykhailo Mudryk.

Pochettino is also considering recalling Noni Madueke to the squad for Monday’s west London derby against Fulham. He was left out of the squad in last week’s Carabao Cup win over Brighton, with Pochettino saying it was not due to an injury. But his “choice” after the Chelsea winger was spotted partying when he was injured.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1):Sanchez; Cucurella, Disasi, Silva, Colwill; Caicedo, Gallagher; Palmer, Fernandez, Mudryk; Sterling

Fulham vs Chelsea Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats (2)

Key Stats

  • Fulham are winless in nine consecutive Premier League London derbies since beating Chelsea in January (D4 L5).
  • Chelsea have failed to score in their last three Premier League matches.
  • Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven matches against Fulham in all competitions.
  • Mauricio Pochettino is now without a win in each of his last 14 Premier League matches on the road (D4 L10).
  • No Premier League side has picked up fewer points in the current calendar year than Chelsea (25).

Player to Watch

Raheem Sterling

Nicolas Jackson silenced his Chelsea detractors by guiding Mauricio Pochettino’s struggling side into the fourth round at Stamford Bridge, scoring the winning goal against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Carabao Cup.

Embed from Getty Images

However, the Senegalese forward is suspended for the Premier League clash against Fulham. So, the onus will be on experienced speedster Raheem Sterling, who scored a double against Luton Town, to produce the goods in the final third.Without a doubt, Sterling is a top player who has shown he can deliver at the highest level.

But his form has blown hot and cold since arriving at Chelsea from Manchester City. The Blues need experience, creativity, and goals to kick-start their season, and the electric attacker could be the man to do it, being the biggest attacking threat for the visitors.

Prediction

Fulham 1-1 Chelsea

Chelsea may have relieved some of the pressure off their shoulders with a win in midweek. But it was far from convincing against an admittedly tough Brighton & Hove Albion team. Although confidence is rising, injuries are still wreaking havoc, potentially handing Fulham’s attackers a big boost on Monday night.

Marco Silva’s men will relish trying to increase the misery on their west-end rivals. But they have not been free-scoring either this season. It is difficult to back either side here with any real degree of conviction, and a low-scoring share of spoils has to be the sensible call.

Tags: Chelsea FCFulhamMatch Preview

Fulham vs Chelsea Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats (2024)

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