MX23RW : Friday, January 15 21:32:29| >> :60:1403:1403:
Jan 16, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Craven Cottage
FulhamFulham
vs.
ChelseaChelsea

Preview: Fulham vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Fulham and Chelsea, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Chelsea will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on local rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday evening.

The Blues have dropped down to ninth position in the table, having been victorious in just one of their last six in the league, while Fulham have drawn each of their last five matches to sit in 18th.


Match preview

Fulham's Ivan Cavaleiro celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on January 13, 2021© Reuters

Fulham were initially due to host Chelsea on Friday evening, but the match was rescheduled for Saturday when the Cottagers were pressed into action on Wednesday to play their postponed fixture against Tottenham Hotspur.

In what was the club's first Premier League match since Boxing Day, Scott Parker's side claimed a point at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Ivan Cavaleiro cancelling out a first-half effort from Harry Kane.

Fulham have now drawn each of their last five in the league against Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United, Southampton and Tottenham, but they have only won once since the start of November and currently sit down in 18th position in the table, two points behind 17th-placed Brighton.

The Whites have only managed one away win in the top flight this term, but they did record a 2-0 victory at Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup last weekend, and there is no question that Wednesday's performance and result against Tottenham will have left them in a confident mood heading into the derby.

Chelsea's Timo Werner celebrates scoring against Morecambe in the FA Cup on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Chelsea, meanwhile, were also in FA Cup action last weekend, comfortably dispatching Morecambe by four clear goals to ease their way into the fourth round of the competition.

The Blues have lost two of their last three in the Premier League, though, including a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City at the start of the month.

Frank Lampard's side have actually won just one of their last six in the league, which has seen them drop down to ninth position in the table, now 10 points off leaders Manchester United.

There is believed to be pressure building on Lampard, and a poor result this weekend would leave the club's former midfielder in a tough spot ahead of a difficult trip to Leicester City on January 19.

Chelsea's record over Fulham is incredibly strong, though, having not lost to their rivals in the league since March 2006 - when Luis Boa Morte scored the winner at Craven Cottage - and the Blues will be targeting a sixth straight victory over the Cottagers on Saturday evening.

Fulham Premier League form: LDDDDD
Fulham form (all competitions): DDDDWD

Chelsea Premier League form: LLWLDL
Chelsea form (all competitions): LWLDLW


Team News

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante pictured on July 4, 2020© Reuters

Fulham will again be without the services of Tom Cairney and Mario Lemina through injury, while Aleksandar Mitrovic is a doubt for the contest at Craven Cottage but could yet be involved.

The Cottagers will also be unable to call upon Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the England international is ineligible against his parent club, meaning that Ademola Lookman could return to the starting XI.

Parker is expected to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack from the Spurs clash, though, meaning that the likes of Harrison Reed and Cavaleiro should keep their spots.

Chelsea will be without the suspended N'Golo Kante for Saturday's clash, but the Blues are otherwise in excellent shape, with both Reece James and Andreas Christensen available for selection once again.

Lampard has a number of decisions to make, particularly in the final third, as both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were on the scoresheet against Morecambe in the FA Cup.

Werner could get the nod through the middle with support from Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech in the wide positions, but Havertz might drop to the bench once again, with Jorginho potentially earning a recall.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Areola; Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo; Tete, Reid, Reed, Anguissa, Robinson; Lookman, Cavaleiro

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kovacic, Jorginho, Mount; Pulisic, Werner, Ziyech


SM words green background

We say: Fulham 1-2 Chelsea

This has all of the makings of a very, very interesting game of football, particularly as Fulham will enter the contest off the back of an excellent performance and result. Chelsea's league form has been disappointing in recent weeks, but we just fancy Lampard's side to edge their way to all three points on Saturday.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Who will win Friday's Premier League clash between Fulham and Chelsea?

Fulham
Draw
Chelsea
Fulham
14.4%
Draw
16.7%
Chelsea
68.9%
132
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Fulham manager Scott Parker pictured on January 9, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd17113334241036
2Liverpool1796237211633
3Manchester CityMan City1695225131232
4Leicester CityLeicester17102531211032
5Everton1710252821732
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1786330161430
7Southampton178542619729
8Aston Villa1582529161326
9Chelsea1775532211126
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham177552421326
11Arsenal187382019124
12Leeds UnitedLeeds177283033-323
13Crystal Palace186572229-723
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves186481926-722
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle175481827-919
16Burnley16448921-1216
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton182882129-814
18Fulham162681424-1012
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1715111139-288
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd181215929-205

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