Date: Monday 2nd October 2023
Venue: Craven Cottage
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Tonight’s game sees us travel the short distance to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham and with Chilwell’s injury and Jackson’s suspension, we travel there lighter – as if the absence list wasn’t high enough.
Fulham won in the Carabao Cup against Norwich in their last game, and they’ve lost just one of their last six games in all competitions. That defeat was against City, so not exactly unexpected (before Wolves anyway). Fulham sit twelfth in the table currently but that still puts them above us.
We finally got a win against Brighton in the cup midweek but the Premier League is a different story and we’re having our worst start to a season since 1978-79, with just five points from six games.
All three of the Premier League fixtures between the sides on a Monday have ended in a draw, and the sad thing is, we’re so desperate for points that wouldn’t be the end of the world tonight.
Going into today’s game, Fulham manager Marco Silva, says “It’s going to be a tough game. Chelsea is Chelsea and no-one can underestimate them because the quality is there. Of course they haven’t started the way they would of liked to and since Mauricio come in they are trying to get them in a position to fight for titles. Against Chelsea it doesn’t matter what they did in the last few games, after the defeat to Villa they reacted and they won against Brighton in the Carabao Cup which is a goal for them [to win]. Since January they have signed a big number of players who are very good and these things take time. Mauricio, the staff and the players will want to keep improving and to react and if we underestimate them it will be the first big mistake.
I have a very good relationship with Mauricio. I don’t know how many times we’ve played each other in the Premier League but he’s a very good manager. Look at what he did at Southampton, then Tottenham and then the spell in France [with Paris St Germain] – with the CV he has he’s come back to England to manage Chelsea, which is a tough job much like many jobs in the Premier League. I have huge respect for him, he’s a very good manager and a very good guy and it will be nice to see him again.”
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, says “We have a few options, to play with a striker or without a striker. Also we need to assess all the squad after the game, things appear after 48 hours. We need to see how they are and how they recover from the effort of Wednesday. But different options can meet. The most important thing is to adapt to the squad and players that are available, and to try to find a way to perform. That is the most important thing. Maybe there are different characteristics we can use. We can play with one striker or maybe we can play without a striker, with another second-line player or an offensive midfielder. But there are still a few days and I need to think and assess all the squad to take the best decision.”
For Fulham, Tosin Adarabioyo (groin) and Adama Traore (thigh) are out and Calvin Bassey (back) is a doubt. Kenny Tete (groin) will need assessing but Sasa Lukic (knee\) is back in training.
For Chelsea, Wesley Fofana (knee), Christopher Nkunku (knee), Benoit Badiashile (hamstring), Reece James (hamstring), Romeo Lavia (ankle), Marcus Bettinelli (knee), Trevoh Chalobah (hamstring) have now been joined by Ben Chilwell (Hamstring), such is the ridiculousness of our injury situation. Gusto and Jackson are suspended but Carney Chukwuemeka and Noni Madueke may be available, assuming nothing happens to either of them in the warm-up.
FULHAM (Possible line-up): Leno; Tete, Diop, Ream, Robinson; Palhinha, Reed; Decordova-Reid, Pereira, Iwobi; Jimenez
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Sanchez; Cucurella, Disasi, Silva, Colwill; Caicedo, Fernandez, Gallagher; Palmer, Sterling, Mudryk
Fulham 2-1 Chelsea (12 Jan 2023)
CURRENT FORM (PL)
- Fulham won the last meeting at Craven Cottage in January.
- Chelsea were relegated the last time they had this sort of start to a season.
- Fulham are without a win in nine consecutive Premier League London derbies since beating Chelsea in January.
- Chelsea have won just two of their past 18 league games.
- Chelsea have taken five points from six games.
- Chelsea have failed to score in 13 Premier League games in 2023.
Sportsmole: Fulham 1-1 Chelsea