Fulham v Chelsea Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
February 28, 2019
Craven Cottage - Premier League
Maurizio Sarri may have a hint of a spring in his step as he takes his Chelsea team to Craven Cottage to face Fulham on Sunday. The opposite is true for Sarri’s opposing manager and compatriot, Claudio Ranieri, who lost his job on Thursday.
Chelsea beat Fulham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, courtesy of an early goal from Pedro and a late Ruben Loftus-Cheek strike. The Blues are looking for their fifth successive victory over the Cottagers, although that run does stretch back to 2013.
Alfie Mawson and Marcus Bettinelli are the only two players out for the hosts. Both are recovering from knee surgery, with ex-Chelsea player Scott Parker, now in charge at the Cottage, enjoying a fully-fit squad apart from that. Another former Blue, Andre Schurrle is set to feature against his old club.
Chelsea’s injury list only contains some familiar names and players nowhere near the first team. Gary Cahill is still sidelined with a back problem, while Danny Drinkwater has an Achilles injury. The big question is whether Sarri reinstates Kepa Arrizabalaga after last weekend’s Carabao Cup indiscretion.
Fulham v Chelsea Preview and Predictions
The wheels were threatening to come completely off for Chelsea manager Sarri, but a couple of nuts and bolts held them on after their penalty shootout defeat to Manchester City in the League Cup final, and the insubordination of goalkeeper Arrizabalaga. What a difference a win makes though, and the Blues head to Craven Cottage with their engines roaring after their victory over another London rival in midweek.
Fulham meanwhile slipped to their fourth successive defeat as they lost away at Southampton on Wednesday. Now 10 points from safety, that’s surely curtains for their brief return to the Premier League. Parker, signed by Jose Mourinho in the Portuguese's first spell at Chelsea, has the responsibility to beat the drop now.
Ranieri failed to sort out Fulham’s disastrous defence, which has now conceded 63 goals in 28 games. With that in mind, even at 6/1 the home team look a bet worth avoiding. Chelsea are 6/11 to make it back-to-back wins, as they look to maintain their top-four challenge.
The Blues are three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with a game in hand, although they have an in-form Manchester United to deal with too. At 18/5, a draw would certainly be seen as two points dropped for the away team, considering Fulham’s awful form that’s seen them lose eight of their last nine matches.
Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals at 6/5
Fulham have conceded at least two goals in each of their last eight Premier League games, so Chelsea should get their fair share of chances on Sunday afternoon.
Chelsea/Chelsea half-time/full-time at 11/8
Fulham have been losing at both half-time and full-time in six of their last eight league matches, while the Blues are on a high after beating Spurs in midweek.