Home Sports Chelsea faces Fulham in London Derby amid managerial scrutiny

Chelsea faces Fulham in London Derby amid managerial scrutiny

Chelsea and Fulham go head-to-head in this weekend’s lunchtime kickoff match at Stamford Bridge.

The London clubs came up short in their respective Carabao semi-final matches, with Middleborough humbling Chelsea 1-0 and Liverpool mounting a comeback to beat the Cottagers 2-1.

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The Blues return to face a disgruntled home crowd in West London, with Mauricio Pochettino facing heat from the fans for their dismal performance in their latest outing at the Riverside.

Chelsea have won back-to-back  premier league matches against Crystal Palace and Luton though, and despite a defeat to Boro, Pochettino will be keen to prioritize the home match against Fulham, with a replay against Boro in the second leg of the Carabao semifinal, looming.

Fulham similarly will set their site on this one, as Marco Silva seeks to improve his’ side away form. The last time Fulham took all points away from home was on the opening day, as they beat Everton In Goodison Park.

Both teams will be missing key injuries, with Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella, Robert Sanchez,Carney Chukumweka, Reece James, and Wesley Fofana all remaining sidelined for the unforeseeable future.

Nico Jackson who has scored eight goals in the premier league is a host of players headed to Ivory Coast for the African Cup of Nations. Christopher Nkunku remains a doubt after not being in the team that lost to Boro.

Fulham on the other hand will miss the services of Harrison Reed, who got clattered at Anfield, Adama Traore still remains out with a thigh injury. Alex Iwobi, Calvin Bassey and Fode Ballo Toure are all headed for the AFCON, so a return of Tom Cairney would be highly likely.

Chelsea have won 22 of the last 36 matches they’ve played against Fulham, with 12 draws and the Cottagers winning only 2. Silva will be hoping to turn his fortunes on this one, as his side has conceded 23 goals this season. Sheffield is the only team that has conceded more, 25.

Chelsea will hope their extra 24 hours rest will be enough to see their side claim all three points from the London Derby.

John Njuguna
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