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A true derby now

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The Premier League’s matchday seven is set to end with a bang as Fulham welcome Chelsea to Craven Cottage in a true London derby now, considering Blues’ predicament.

Marco Silva’s men are ahead of Chelsea in the table as Mauricio Pochettino has failed to hit the ground running at the club.

The game, taking place at 8 PM on a Monday, is sure to be a thriller as Fulham will seek to pile on the misery while Chelsea looking to get their season back on track.

Here’s the match preview, buildup, team news, and more as a thrilling London derby ends matchday seven of the Premier League!

Fulham vs Chelsea preview

For Fulham, it has been a season of extreme highs and devastating lows. One week, they’re knocking out Tottenham from the League Cup and the next week, they’re conceding five to City in the league.

They win away to Everton, get trounced by Brentford at home, and so on.

Silva’s men have shown glimpses this season of the side which overachieved last year but they need to do it consistently to match those efforts.

The team that is looking to avoid matching last season’s efforts is Chelsea. However, in the process, they’ve started even worse than last season.

Pochettino’s men are just two points above the relegation zone in 15th place and a loss here will realistically catch them in a fight to avoid relegation, an unrealistic prospect for a club like Chelsea.

The only reason why they aren’t already in it is because of utter hopelessness in Burnley, Bournemouth, and Sheffield United.

They need a win quickly, no matter how it comes.

Fulham vs Chelsea predicted lineup

Fulham team news

The injury list is clearing for Fulham as they are set to welcome back Kenny Tete and Sasa Lukic from their respective injuries.

Adama Traore is expected to miss this game on account of his hamstring problem while Tosin Adarabioyo is a long-term absentee with his groin problem.

There are no suspension worries for Silva’s men and they will undoubtedly be boosted by the return of the pair.

Predicted Fulham XI: Leno, Tete, Diop, Ream, Castagne, Pereira, Palhinha, Reed, Willian, Iwobi, Jimenez

Chelsea team news

At this point, Chelsea’s injured list is almost as long as their available list of players. Still, this Fulham game could be the one where Pochettino starts getting the cavalry back together.

The likes of Madueke, Chukwuemeka, Badiashile, and Chalobah are all candidates to be part of the squad at Craven Cottage after recovering from their injuries.

Long-term absentees include Wesley Fofafa, Nkunku, Chilwell, Lavia, and Gusto. The latter got sent off against Aston Villa with a straight red card which means he’s out suspended for three games.

Chelsea will miss Nicolas Jackson who has had an unenviable start to his Premier League career. He is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards in his first six league appearances.

Reece James’ fitness is one to keep an eye on as the official Chelsea captain nears his return from a thigh injury. He’s unlikely to play here though.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Sanchez, Cucurella, Disasi, Silva, Maatsen, Caicedo, Gallagher, Sterling, Fernandez, Palmer, Broja

Fulham vs Chelsea prediction

A derby game during a bad run of form can be a double-edged sword. Either you wilt in the face of pressure and put on a disaster class, or you keep the form book out of the window and hit the reset button with a statement performance.

The London derby, however, is a potential banana skin fixture for Chelsea as Fulham brought their best against the Blues last season. They were unbeaten in their two fixtures, with a 2-1 win for Fulham at Craven Cottage and a scoreless draw at the Stamford Bridge.

Returning players might give some respite to Chelsea but on current form, a win looks unlikely.

FootTheBall predicts Fulham 1-1 Chelsea.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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