Chelsea vs Fulham : Fulham will host Chelsea at Craven Cottage in a London derby on Sunday, just days after firing caretaker manager Claudio Ranieri.
Chelsea vs Fulham
English Premier League – Regular Season
Place: Craven Cottage – London, ENG
Time: 9:05AM ET
Chelsea vs Fulham Live Stream
Scott Parker will pick his first Fulham team minus goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli and Alfie Mawson, who are both injured.
Possible Fulham starting XI: Rico; Odoi, Nordtveit, Ream, Bryan; Chambers, Seri, Anguissa; Schurrle, Mitrovic, Vietto
Chelsea continue to enjoy good fortune on the selection front and have no problems at all approaching this derby encounter.
Maurizio Sarri has been non-committal on Kepa’s status , though it is probable that he will be benched.
Possible Chelsea starting XI: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alsonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Higuain, Hazard
Chelsea vs Fulham : Match Preview
After the farcical scenes at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final, which saw Kepa refuse to be replaced before the penalty shootout that Manchester City won, there was a sense that control of the team was slipping away from the Italian.
While some critics have suggested that it’s now time for the former Napoli boss to come down hard on the squad, Sarri has said the Spaniard remains his first-choice goalkeeper, despite dropping him for the midweek victory.
Although questions rage over the internal discipline of the Stamford Bridge outfit off the field, on it consistency has been their chief enemy. The Blues have failed to win three successive games since early November, and given their target is to reach the Champions League, such form is unacceptable.
Indeed, their away form has been especially poor, with their 2-1 Europa League win over Malmo ending a four-match losing streak on their travels that included derby losses against Spurs and Arsenal, as well as thumping defeats at Bournemouth and Manchester City – the worst in the club’s Premier League history.
Nineteenth in the league, they have only 17 points to their credit and lie 10 from safety. Realistically, they will need to at least double that tally to stand a chance of survival and with matches against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City looming, that appears a monumental task.
Nevertheless, it is one that their interim boss is ready to embrace, despite bittersweet feelings about his first such role.
“It’s mixed emotions, what with sitting where we are in the league and Claudio losing his job, but the flipside is one of excitement. I appreciate the opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.”