Fulham v Chelsea Betting Tips & Predictions – Sunday 3rd March 2019

Having lost their relegation six-pointer with Southampton on Wednesday night, Fulham fell a troubling 10 points adrift of safety. At this point, the Cottagers would need nothing short of a miracle to avoid the drop especially taking into account their upcoming fixtures. Three of the their next four matches are against the Premier League top six starting this weekend with Chelsea. Is it time for Fulham fans to accept their fate?

Fulham’s future next season increasingly looks like it has been sealed but for Chelsea, they still have plenty to play for this term. The Blues are currently trailing both Manchester United and Arsenal in the race to secure Champions League football but they do have the benefit of a game in hand. Should they secure victory in that and also in this weekend’s test, the London club will return to the top four and they will be buoyed following their victory over Spurs in midweek.

Top Tips

Chelsea to Win with -1 Goal Handicap @ 6/4

Chelsea to Win to Nil @ 15/8

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Fulham News: Cairney speaks of low morale

Home Entrance Stalls at Fulham's Craven Cottage Football Stadium
Achim Hepp, flickr (Image Cropped)

Even before the defeat to Southampton, Fulham skipper Tom Cairney admitted that the mood at the club is worryingly negative. He said it was hard to keep morale up at the training ground given the position his teammates find themselves in. The club organised a go-karting session in an attempt to lift the mood at the club but it had to be cancelled due to high insurance costs. It’s something that rather sums up the state of affairs at the London club at the moment as absolutely nothing is going right for them. Apparently plans to hold end-of-season drinks in a brewery have been cancelled too after the organisation proved too difficult!

Chelsea News: Kepa dropped after cup final incident

Chelsea Crest at Stamford Bridge
Mark Harkin, flickr

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s controversial refusal to be substituted completely overshadowed Manchester City’s League Cup victory last weekend. Maurizio Sarri sought to bring on penalty specialist Willy Caballero for the shootout but his regular number one refused to head off. The Spaniard’s decision left his manager incandescent with rage although he was far calmer about the situation after the match. Calling it a “misunderstanding” the pair seemed to be back on decent terms but to the surprise of nobody this did not stop Kepa being fined and then dropped in the league for the first time during Wednesday’s London derby success.

Pressured lifted from Sarri

A dogged display in the League Cup final where they limited Man City’s chances completely and victory over London rivals Tottenham has given former Napoli boss Sarri some much-needed breathing space. The incident with Kepa at Wembley also appears to have strengthened his position as there was an outcry of sympathy for the Italian. Talk of him facing the sack has all but disappeared this week and it could prove to be a turning point in his time in charge at Chelsea.

Analysis: End of the road for Fulham

After Wednesday’s defeat to Southampton, Fulham saw their relegation odds cut to a tiny 1/50. It was an all or nothing contest for them and having lost, the Cottagers must be feeling especially dejected. Claudio Ranieri has vowed to fight to the end but even he looks like a man who no longer believes. Desperately lacking in confidence and unable to find a system that works for them, expect more misery to pile on the troubled side this weekend.

Blues set for easy afternoon

Fulham did show some fighting spirit in the midweek loss after conceding two early goals but they still looked well short of the quality needed to stay in the Premier League. Although they’ve not looked as out of their depth on home soil, they were convincingly beaten the last time a big club visited Craven Cottage.

Manchester United brushed Ranieri’s men aside that day and Chelsea look set to do the same here. The Blues seemed to regain their mojo during their victory over Tottenham and with faith in Sarri seemingly restored, a -1 handicap win (6/4) is well worth backing here.

Fulham lacking any sort of threat

On Wednesday night, Fulham had a couple sights at goal but Aleksandar Mitrovic was unable to seize the opportunities. The Serbian began the season so brightly but has now scored in just one of his last nine appearances. Given that he is the focal point of the attack, this has been a major problem for the Cottagers in recent weeks.

Ryan Babel has come in to try and shoulder some goalscoring responsibility but he’s only been able to find the net once. Chelsea’s backline has been messy at times this season but the past couple of weeks they’ve looked far more solid. Having recently kept clean sheets against Manchester City and Tottenham, an away win to nil (15/8) offers appeal.

Hazard can end mini drought

Eden Hazard has failed to score in any one of his last five appearances, quite the barren patch by his own high standard. The Real Madrid target has faced some tough matches in this time including both Manchester sides and local rivals Tottenham. Facing a far flimsier defence that has conceded a scarcely believable (and league high) 63 goals here, the Belgian will fancy himself to grab a goal at some point during the contest (11/10). He was withdrawn on the hour mark against Spurs so should be reasonably well rested ahead of this test against the worst backline in the Premier League.

Recent Matches

Fulham are in desperate need of three points but securing victories against Chelsea is something they’ve long found an impossible task. The Blues have absolutely dominated their London rivals and are currently enjoying a 18 match unbeaten streak against the Cottagers.

2nd December 2018: Chelsea 2 – 0 Fulham

Pedro netted Chelsea’ 1000th Premier League goal at Stamford Bridge just four minutes into this contest. N’Golo Kante did much of the hard work for the goal, surging towards the box after winning the ball on the halfway line. The early strike ensured Fulham remained as the only team in the top four tiers of English football still without a clean sheet. There was a long wait for the second goal but it eventually came courtesy of substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek who rounded off a slick passing move.

1st March 2014: Fulham 1 – 3 Chelsea

Andre Schurrle, who now plays for Fulham, was Chelsea’s hero when these two rivals last met at Craven Cottage. Schurrle helped himself to a hat-trick as the Blues ran out comfortable 3-1 winners back in March 2014. Chelsea raced into a 3-0 lead before Johnny Heitinga pulled one back for the hosts with 15 minutes left. Ranieri will be praying the talented German can produce such fireworks in this fixture once again.

21st September 2013: Chelsea 2 – 0 Fulham

In the 2013 matchup at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea eased to a 2-0 win more than five years ago. The Blues turned on the style after the break, with second half goals from Oscar and John Obi Mikel doing the business for the home team.

17th April 2013: Fulham 0 – 3 Chelsea

During the 2012-13 Premier League season, there was another easy win for the west Londoners, as Chelsea beat Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage. David Luiz opened the scoring on 30 minutes, with John Terry netting a rare brace in the comfortable win. The reverse match that season ended in a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

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