Sunday 3 March: 2.05pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
After some poor results, Maurizio Sarri was the favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his club. Since then, he’s sat back and watched both Claude Puel and Claudio Ranieri lose their jobs. Sarri isn’t out of the woods yet though and a defeat at relegation-threatened Fulham might just end his time at Chelsea.
Defeat at Southampton on Wednesday night signaled the end of Claudio Ranieri as manager of Fulham. A second miracle just wasn’t possible as it seems no one can teach Fulham’s defenders how to stop conceding goals. Thursday saw the Italian sacked and Scott Parker put in temporary charge.
Fulham”s latest loss has left them ten points from safety. They have an appalling goal difference so it’s as good as 11 points that need to be found. That’s not going to be an easy task with just ten games to go. The fact their last 12 league points have taken 16 games to earn is another worrying statistic. It’s 6/1 (7.0) at BetVictor that they can beat Chelsea this weekend.
It’s that defending that is the main problem for Fulham. 63 league goals have been conceded this season and each of their last eight opponents have managed to score at least twice against them. You can get odds of 8/15 (1.52) at Coral that Chelsea manage to score at least twice at Craven Cottage on Sunday.
Fulham don’t just have problems at the back. They have failed to score in three of their last four games. Before the 3-0 home loss to Manchester United, Fulham had scored in each of their last four home league games. They are 8/13 (1.61) at Betfred to score in this match.
Chelsea are sixth in the table and three points away from the Champions League places with a game in hand. They had a good home win over Tottenham on Wednesday but need to improve their away league form. Craven Cottage looks a good place to begin that task.
They have already lost five away league games this season but it’s their recent form that is the worry. A 4-0 loss at Bournemouth was followed by a 6-0 thumping at Manchester City. This is a drop in class but Chelsea still haven’t scored an away league goal in 2019. The last three away league games have all been lost. It’s 6/11 (1.54) at Unibet that this weekend sees all that change with a win at Fulham.
Chelsea are undefeated in their last 18 games against Fulham. Their last defeat to their neighbours was back in 2006 at Craven Cottage. Fulham have only scored in one of their last five games against the Blues. It’s 6/5 (2.2) at William Hill that Chelsea keep a clean sheet on Sunday.
Fulham v Chelsea Team News
Chelsea have no injury worries but Maurizio Sarri says he will make some changes for this game. Kepa Arrizabalaga may make his return in goal after not playing against Tottenham in midweek. Fulham will be without Andre Schurrle for this game.
Eight of the last ten Chelsea away games have seen over 2.5 goals scored, though not necessarily by themselves. The same stat applies to seven of the last nine Fulham games and the last three at home. The odds of over 2.5 goals being scored on Sunday are 3/4 (1.75) at Betfair.
Time for Hazard to Score
Eden Hazard must surely be due a goal soon. He last scored for Chelsea on February 2 and his last away goal was on Boxing Day. The odds of him scoring at Craven Cottage are evens (2.0) at Paddy Power and it’s 4/1 (5.0) at Bet365 the Belgian gets the first goal.
Fulham are in deep trouble at the bottom of the Premier League and a swift return to the Championship looks inevitable. They take on a Chelsea side that had a confidence-boosting win over Tottenham in midweek. Their away form has been poor in recent weeks but up against the fragile Fulham defence, they can win this game. A bet on Chelsea to win with over 2.5 goals to be scored is 6/5 (2.2) at BoyleSports.