Every game is imporatant!
Chelsea take on Fulham in a London Derby at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night for MW 34 of the Premier League season. Fulham have not had the best season and after a slight resurgence in the New Year they have now gone 5 games without a win. They have managed to do well against he bigger teams though and they have lost a lot of those games from winning positions. The problem with Fulham has been that they just can’t seem to hold on in games. Add to that the fact that they create several chances but can’t seem to finish and it’s a recipe for a loss. Fulham under Parker are probably one of the most attractive teams to watch at the bottom but right now that’s not got them results. Fulham sit 7 points behind Brighton right now with 15 points left to play for. Brighton have a tough run in and even if Fulham drop points in this game they still have a chance at survival however narrow.
Chelsea go into this game having drawn in Madrid on Tuesday night. The result was one of mixed emotions because Chelsea were so sensational in those first 30 minutes. We should have easily scored 3-4 goals and of course many are obsessed about the Timo Werner miss. Either way the away goal was still a good result for Chelsea. When it comes to the Premier League we sit 5 points behind 3rd placed Leicester. The Foxes played on Friday night and drew against Southampton which means Chelsea can go within 2 points of Leicester and 6 of Manchester United if Liverpool beat them. It really is crunch time for Tuchel and the team with every game having a larger context to it. Tuchel ahead of the game said that he will only expect a 100% from the team and that every game is big game. Tuchel also spoke on Pulisic and he offered a funny quote saying that Pulisic took Hazard’s number so now he has to live with the expectation. On Timo from what I understood it seems that Timo’s ability to offer more with his pace and his intelligence is the key reason keeping Tammy and Giroud out of the starting XI. I personally believe in Werner that he will gain confidence once again. Tuchel also spoke about Loftus-Cheek and stated that he has every chance to play into the team in pre-season.
Chelsea Team Preview
Rudiger, and Kovacic are out of the squad for this game. Mendy should start in goal with Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Zouma making up the back four. I think Silva will be rested. Reece James and Chilwell should start as the wing backs. I think Gilmour may be given a start in this game alongside Kante. Jorginho could start but I think the Italian needs a rest. Up front it’s for sure a head scratcher. I think Tammy could start with Havertz and Ziyech playing alongside him. I have a feeling because Havertz and Ziyech haven’t featured much over the last two games. Pulisic, Werner, Mount, and Hudson-Odoi can of course make a start as well it’s anyone’s guess. Either way it’s a solid team and I think we will need to be creative in the final 3rd to get those goals.
Fulham Team Preview
Fulham have a fit squad to select from for this game. Loftus-Cheek won’t be available to play because of loan reasons. I expect Fulham to stick with the team they fielded against Arsenal. 4-4-2 seems to give them plenty of bodies in defence while putting two dangerous forwards up front. Areola is a decent goalkeeper while Aina, and Robinson provide the danger from the full back areas. Lookman is the danger man on the wings while Lemina, and Anguissa add a solidity in defence. Cavaleiro provides energy up front while Maja has been decent since signing in the winter. Mitrovic, Reed, and Bryan are some players that Parker can call upon from the bench.
Starting XI Prediction
Fulham are no pushovers and Chelsea will need to finish the chances we create in this game. Two teams that are fighting for something this season means that the hunger should not be lacking. Chelsea have a solid team though and I think the likes of Ziyech, Havertz, Tammy, Gilmour etc would be hungry to get their foot into the door. COME ON CHELSEA!!!