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Fulham fought back well to claim a point away at Spurs midweek, despite only having 48 hours’ notice for the game.
That result means it’s now six draws on the bounce for the whites in all competitions, and their eight points from their last nine games isn’t bad considering seven of those have come against current top-half opponents, so they certainly have enough about them to cause this Chelsea side some issues, especially with the Blues needing to iron out some issues of their own.
Frank Lampard’s men got back to winning ways in the cup at the weekend with a convincing 4-0 win over Morecambe.
There were many positives to take from that game, with Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi all making meaningful contributions, though they’ll now want to carry that over to the league.
The Blues are currently on a run of W1-D1-L4 in the league after a very promising start to the campaign, and they now sit down in 9th.
There’s no hiding the fact that this is a must-win game for the visitors if they want to catapult themselves back into the hunt for the top four, and it would set the tone as they enter a run of five out of seven games against current bottom half outfits.
Chelsea -1 Handicap
Chelsea certainly have history on their side here, going unbeaten in their last 19 meetings with Fulham in all competitions dating back to March 2006, winning each of the last five and.
In fact, the Cottagers have won just one of 28 Premier League meetings between these sides, so it’s difficult to see them coming away with maximum points here.
While Fulham have put in impressive displays, they still lack a cutting edge up top with Aleksander Mitrovic seemingly out of favour at the moment.
That’s shown by their lack of goals this year, especially at home, as they’ve scored just four goals in seven games at the cottage against teams above them, and with the squad that Chelsea have it’s hard to see them failing to register.
Fulham have proven time and time again that they can take the game to the bigger sides, though that will take their toll on the squad and the simple fact that Chelsea have had nearly two weeks since their last league outing will benefit them hugely here, and they should outlast their local rivals in this one.
Narrow wins aren’t really part of Chelsea’s routine this season, and when they come out on top it tends to be convincing with 12 of their 13 victories across all competitions this season coming by more than a single strike.
This is an extremely important game for the visitors, and we’d expect them to rise to the occasion.