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Chelsea vs Fulham predictions: Blues to win an entertaining west London derby
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Dan Sait
Chelsea boss Graham Potter will be hoping for a confidence-boosting win on Friday
Chelsea boss Graham Potter will be hoping for a confidence-boosting win on Friday

- Chelsea were bolstered by nearly £300million-worth of players in the January window
- Fulham have an excellent goalscoring record vs the top sides but a poor points return
- Recommended bet: Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals

Chelsea supporters come into the west London derby with their heads spinning after a spectacular January transfer window splurge.

A reported £282million was spent on seven players, with World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez and winger Mykhailo Mudryk the headline arrivals.

But Todd Boehly's lavish spending may yet prove something of a double-edged sword for Graham Potter, as the Chelsea manager now faces the tricky task of moulding a cohesive unit out of a squad that has had 15 new players added since the summer.

Visiting manager Marco Silva will have limited sympathy given his vastly smaller budget, of course, and would doubtless delight in completing the double over the Cottagers' big-spending neighbours as they both vie for European places.

Chelsea vs Fulham (Friday, 8pm)

Team news

Chelsea signings Fernandez and Noni Madueke are both available to make their club debuts and Mudryk could start after coming on as a substitute against Liverpool. However, loan signing Joao Felix serves the final game of his three-match suspension.

While Potter has plenty of new options available to him, he also has a swathe of players unavailable through injury.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy remains absent following surgery on a fractured finger and while centre-back Wesley Fofana is closing in on a return from a knee injury, this match may come too soon for him.

Full-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell could both return after lengthy layoffs but defensive midfielders Denis Zakaria and N'Golo Kante remain out, with the latter not expected back until March.

Attacker Christian Pulisic is also out until March with a knee problem and winger Raheem Sterling remains a couple of weeks from returning from a hamstring strain. Striker Armando Broja is out for the season with an ACL rupture.

Fulham have only Neeskens Kebano unavailable, with the winger likely to miss the rest of the season after rupturing his Achilles.

Deadline-day signing Sasa Lukic could come straight into the squad to compete for places in midfield, while right-back Cedric Soares is available after signing on loan from Arsenal.

The stats

Picking up away points has not been easy for Marco Silva's Fulham
Picking up away points has not been easy for Marco Silva's Fulham

Fulham beat Chelsea at Craven Cottage last month but were fortunate to do so. The Blues had more possession, more than twice as many shots and shots on target than the Cottagers and more than doubled their hosts' expected goals rating by 2.1 to 1.0.

The score was level at 1-1 when Felix received an 58th-minute red card and while Fulham went on to nick a winner, Chelsea were arguably the better team even with 10 men.

While the Blues have struggled for form this season and sit 10th in the Premier League, they remain fairly reliable at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have dropped points in only four of nine home games and each time it was against a visitor from the current top five, drawing against Manchester United and Tottenham and suffering tight 1-0 defeats to top two, Arsenal and Manchester City.

While Fulham have been impressive against the lesser teams, they have lost all four trips to teams in the top half of the table, albeit each of those matches came against sides currently in the top five.


Chelsea will be an interesting team to watch over the remainder of the season as the slew of new signings give Potter plenty of options but a few headaches as well.

The awkward issue of which players he will have to upset by leaving out of his Champions League squad is a matter for another day, but a more immediate concern will be how to rapidly foster cohesion and understanding between a group of new players.

A Fulham side who have scored against each of the rest of the Premier League's top 10 this term have the attacking quality to exploit any teething issues in the Chelsea rebuild and adding over 0.5 Fulham goals to Bet Builder selections looks a sensible approach.

However, a high-class Chelsea squad who were solid at home even before they were bolstered by the January signings should have enough about them to outscore their visitors.

Fulham have yet to prove themselves against the best teams in the league, losing all seven meetings with opponents from the top five, and while Chelsea are outside of that pack at present their lavish spending suggests it will not be long before they are battling for a top-six place.


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