Chelsea vs Fulham Prediction
Friday 3rd February 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Fulham’s visit to Chelsea. Can Fulham start to fire again following goalless defeats to Newcastle and Tottenham, or will Chelsea manage to keep their third PL clean sheet in a row? Find out with our Chelsea vs Fulham prediction.
Chelsea vs Fulham Prediction Match Overview
Chelsea enter the match after the cup break, having earned a hard-fought draw against Liverpool at Anfield. It was a tense game between two sides down on their luck and confidence. The bright spot for the Blues was Mudryk’s debut. The young Ukrainian showed some sparks of ability, and Chelsea hope he can be an excellent signing. The London club are still in mediocre form, however. They have collected eight points in the last 18, with their only wins coming against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace in that period. Their home form all season has been respectable, having won five, drawn two, and lost two of their nine home matches thus far. This performance puts them eighth in the home form table. In tenth place in the league table, and with only 22 goals scored this season, they desperately need goals and points to start climbing the table.
Fellow London club Fulham are doing much better this season than expected. They drew with Sunderland over the weekend in the FA Cup and lost their most recent league match at home to Tottenham. In the last six league games, however, they have won four and lost two, which is excellent form for a club which came up from the Championship last season. They will be mindful,though, having lost the previous two. Their away form is relatively good, too, having won three and lost three of their last six on their travels. Two points ahead of Chelsea in the table, having played one more game, they hope to play well on their short journey across West London and increase the gap further.
Chelsea vs Fulham Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Chalobah, Chilwell, James
Will Not Play: Mendy, W Fofana, Kante, Zakaria, Broja, Felix, Pulisic, Sterling
Might Not Play: N/A
Will Not Play: Kebano
Chelsea vs Fulham Predicted Lineups
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Arrizabalaga; Cucurella, Badiashile, Silva, Chalobah; Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek; Mudryk, Mount, Madueke; Havertz
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno; Robinson, Diop, Ream, Tete; Palhinha, Reed; Willian, Pereira, Decordova-Reid; Mitrovic
Chelsea vs Fulham Prediction Analysis
Midfield Battle, Passes and Possession
The midfield contest will be crucial in this match. Chelsea have lost metronomic central midfielder Jorginho to Arsenal in the January transfer window. Therefore, we expect Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek to form a midfield two, with Mount connecting the midfield and the attack from the number 10 position. Chelsea have spent a fortune in recent windows and hope they can increase their team chemistry. Chelsea are third in passes in the Premier League this season, with 10,950. Therefore, they clearly like to try to get the ball down and play. Fulham are much lower down this list, in 10th with 8,660. This data suggests Fulham are much more likely to take the game to teams when they are at home and against similar standard opposition. Chelsea have been dispossessed the fourth-highest number of times in the league, with 214. Fulham are sixth in this stat, with 211. Given how much more possession Chelsea usually have than Fulham, both teams could be vulnerable to losing the ball in critical areas.
Despite Chelsea’s struggles, they still have some excellent players, so Fulham will likely seek to sit in and play on the counter, being away from home. They will rely on Mitrovic holding the ball up to relieve any pressure Chelsea can apply in midfield areas. Fulham will also depend on Reed and Palhinha to be their usual industrious selves in the midfield and chase and fight for every ball. Kovacic is especially adept at avoiding a press and finding gaps through which to play. With Jorginho gone, we expect Kovacic’s role to be more critical than ever in this Chelsea side, and he should start this game. The Blues will therefore seek to control possession, start plays from the back, and pass the ball around in midfield. Alternatively, Fulham will look to disrupt Chelsea at every opportunity and win the ball to break quickly to their front four. We expect Pereira, particularly, to aid Palhinha and Reed. His work rate and help recovering the ball will be necessary to prevent Fulham from being outnumbered in the middle.
When the midfielders win the ball or find gaps, they can attempt to find their front players. Both teams have plenty of creativity in their sides. Mudryk, Mount, Madueke, Havertz, and Ziyech are all technically gifted and tricky players who can start or come on for Chelsea. They are missing the speed and directness of Sterling and the guile of Pulisic wide left, but Mudryk should compensate heavily for this. The Chelsea wingers will attack Tete and Robinson and try to find avenues into the box to link play with Havertz, who is a false nine rather than a target man or traditional number 9. Cucurella will also help from the left-back position. Mudryk’s pace could play a role, but he will find it more challenging to utilise if Fulham play a low block. However, on occasions when Fulham are more adventurous, Mudryk’s counter-attacking ability could come into play if their moves break down. James might also be available to Chelsea. His return could be a huge boost given his attacking impetus from right-back.
Choosing when to be more defensive and when to be more aggressive in attack is the delicate balance that Fulham must get right. Tete and Robinson will come forward to support Decordova-Reid and Willian. Fulham will target wide play and crosses into the box to supply Mitrovic, who is deadly in the box and especially in the air. The fact that Fulham will likely play with a much more typical striker than Chelsea could be in their favour on attacking plays. Chelsea have had 232 shots this season but have scored only 22 goals, so their shot-conversion rate could be better. Fulham are 9th in this list with 247 shots and have scored 32 goals, so their finishing has been superior to Chelsea’s. We attribute much of this to Mitrovic, who hopes to add to his 11 league goals in this game. Both teams can introduce reinforcements from the bench later in the game.
Beat the Bookmaker Chelsea vs Fulham Prediction
This game is rather intriguing. On the surface, Chelsea have the better players and home advantage, so in many seasons you would expect a routine win, especially given Fulham’s abysmal recent seasons in the Premier League. This season is different, however. Chelsea have struggled throughout, and they lack chemistry, given their scattergun transfer policy. Alternatively, Fulham have been doing very well and have been able to play a relatively settled team where all the players understand each other and are on the same wavelength. We don’t have any faith in a club as inconsistent as Chelsea, and – despite Fulham having lost the last two – we believe they can get something at Stamford Bridge with their counter-attacking ability and the threat of Mitrovic. Chelsea may well limp to a narrow win, but we fancy Fulham to give them a real test and emerge with a point.
Chelsea 1-1 Fulham
Beat the Bookmaker Chelsea vs Fulham Prediction – Draw Odds:
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