By 90Min
March 01, 2019

Chelsea take the short trip across west London on Sunday to take on Premier League strugglers Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Cottagers come into the game under the stewardship of caretaker manager Scott Parker, after the club decided to sack Claudio Ranieri on Thursday after just three months at the club. A 2-0 defeat against Southampton on Wednesday proved to be the final straw for the Italian.

The Blues, on the other hand, saw their chase for Champions League qualification receive a huge boost on Wednesday, as they defeated Tottenham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to a Pedro strike and a comical Kieran Trippier own goal.

Here is 90min's preview of Sunday's London derby.


Where to Watch


When Is Kick Off? Sunday 3 March
What Time Is Kick Off? 14:05 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Craven Cottage
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Premier League
Referee? Graham Scott

Team News


German attacker Andre Schurrle is currently a doubt to face his former club on Sunday, having missed training this week suffering with a virus.

Andre Schurrle

There has been a fitness boost for the Premier League strugglers, with central defender Alfie Mawson returning to training following a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. It remains unlikely that Mawson will be fit enough to feature on Sunday.


Luckily for Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea have a clean bill of health among their key players, with his side's injury concerns residing with the club's fringe players.

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Davide Zappacosta, Gary Cahill and Danny Drinkwater are all doubts to feature on Sunday but even if they were fully fit, it is unlikely that any would play at Craven Cottage.


Predicted Lineups


Fulham Rico; Odoi, Ream, Nordtveit; Christie, Cairney, Chambers, Seri, Bryan; Babel, Mitrovic.
Chelsea Caballero; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Barkley; Pedro, Higuain, Hazard.

Head to Head Record


Despite their being 84 fixtures between Fulham and Chelsea, with the first dating back to 1910, the Cottagers have only managed 11 victories, with Chelsea dominating with 47 wins and unbeaten in their last 18 games against Fulham.

Fulham's last success against their local rivals came 13 years ago, as they edged a tight affair at Craven Cottage to defeat Jose Mourinho's team 1-0, the crucial goal coming from Luis Boa Morte. 

Such were the emotions of the historic victory in west London, Mike Dean's full time whistle sparked a pitch invasion and crowd trouble between the two teams.

ODD ANDERSEN/GettyImages

Spanish attacker Pedro and academy graduate Ruben Loftus Cheek gave Chelsea a routine 2-0 win against Fulham earlier in the season. 


Recent Form


Four defeats in Fulham's last four games triggered the club's board to sack their second manager of the season, dismissing Ranieri after the Italian failed to spark a revival at the club during his three month tenure.

Steve Bardens/GettyImages

Worryingly for the Cottagers, since beating Brighton 4-2 at Craven Cottage in January, they have scored one goal and conceded ten, form which will not see the Cottagers trouble the teams directly above them in the bottom half of the Premier League table anytime soon.

Chelsea eased the woes of their Carabao Cup final disappointment with a huge 2-0 win against Spurs at Stamford Bridge, putting the club's challenge for Champions League qualification back on track after their crushing 6-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Clive Mason/GettyImages

The victory also helped to silence some of the discussions surrounding the authority of manager Maurizio Sarri and the harmony within the squad, with the Italian's tactics smothering Tottenham as Mauricio Pochettino's side failed to register a single shot on target.

Here's how each side has fared in their last five fixtures.

Fulham Chelsea
Southampton 2-0 Fulham (27/2) Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham (27/2)
West Ham 3-1 Fulham (22/2) Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City* (24/2)
Fulham 0-3 Manchester United (09/2) Chelsea 3-0 Malmo (21/2)
Crystal Palace 2-0 Fulham (02/2) Chelsea 0-2 Man Utd (18/2)
Fulham 4-2 Brighton (29/1)
Malmo 1-2 Chelsea (14/2)

Prediction


Form and history are both wildly in Chelsea's favour and, while Fulham could use a huge victory against a top Premier League club to spark a miraculous run towards survival, they are not going to get it here.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Chelsea will not have it easy, but quality will shine through as Fulham's defence will routinely unravel and cost them yet again.

Prediction: Fulham 0-2 Chelsea

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