Chelsea vs Fulham Predictions

Chelsea vs Fulham predictions for Saturday’s Premier League clash. After disappointing first-leg EFL Cup performances, Chelsea and Fulham aim for redemption in a Premier League West London derby on Saturday lunchtime. Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips.


Premier League | Gameweek 21 – Jan 13, 2024 at 12.30pm UK at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea vs Fulham Predictions

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London Derby: A Tactical Tussle at Stamford Bridge

Key Stats
– Chelsea have turned around their home form, winning their last three games at Stamford Bridge.
– Fulham have conceded over two goals per game in their last four away fixtures.
– Mykhaylo Mudryk has been directly involved in goals in his last two appearances for Chelsea.

In this highly anticipated West London derby, both Chelsea and Fulham arrive with points to prove and ambitions to fulfil. Chelsea’s inconsistency under Mauricio Pochettino has been a talking point, with their failure to establish a steady rhythm in the Premier League. The team’s reliance on young talents like Cole Palmer and Mykhaylo Mudryk has been evident, but there’s a need for more experienced players to step up.

Fulham, under Marco Silva, have shown commendable resilience but their away form remains a concern. The Cottagers have demonstrated a compact defensive structure, but their inability to maintain leads against high-profile teams raises questions about their tactical adaptability in crunch situations.

Chelsea’s Strategy: Pros and Cons Chelsea’s attacking play, when in full flow, is a sight to behold, with fluid movements and quick interplays. However, their vulnerability at the back, particularly against counter-attacks, has been their Achilles’ heel. Pochettino’s strategy of high pressing has worked well in phases, but the lack of clinical finishing upfront and occasional lapses in defence have cost them dearly.


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Fulham’s Approach: Strengths and Weaknesses Fulham, on the other hand, have been impressive in creating chances, especially from wide areas. Willian and Reid have been pivotal in their attacking schemes. However, their defence, especially in away games, has been underwhelming, often crumbling under pressure. Silva’s insistence on a possession-based game has its merits, but a lack of plan B in tough away fixtures is apparent.

Managerial Critique Pochettino’s Chelsea have lacked the tactical flexibility often required in tight games. His over-reliance on youth, while commendable, needs to be balanced with experienced heads during critical phases of the game. Silva, while having instilled a fighting spirit in Fulham, must address the team’s away form and defensive frailties if they aim to climb higher.

Expected Line-Ups and Commentary Chelsea’s expected line-up suggests Pochettino might rely on Broja to lead the attack, supported by Sterling and Mudryk on the flanks. Fulham’s lineup, with Jimenez leading the line, indicates Silva’s trust in a robust attacking unit. The midfield battle, particularly between Chelsea’s Gallagher and Fulham’s Cairney, could be crucial in dictating the game’s tempo.

Areas of the Field and Key Duels The midfield tussle will be critical. Gallagher’s energy for Chelsea against Fulham’s Palhinha could decide the control of the game. Mudryk’s duels on the wing and Broja’s physicality upfront against Fulham’s centre-backs will be key battles.

Gameplay Prediction Expect Chelsea to dominate possession and attack through the wings. Fulham will likely adopt a counter-attacking approach, exploiting any spaces left by Chelsea’s full-backs.

Tactical Analysis: Deep Dive

Chelsea’s Offensive and Defensive Strategies: Under Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea has shown a tendency for a possession-based game, utilising the width provided by their wing-backs. The likes of Raheem Sterling and Mykhaylo Mudryk offer pace and directness in attack, often seeking to exploit spaces behind the opposition’s defence. However, defensively, they’ve been vulnerable, particularly against counter-attacks. The absence of key defenders like Reece James has impacted their solidity at the back.

Fulham’s Tactical Approach: Marco Silva’s Fulham has been a revelation in terms of their offensive play, with a focus on quick transitions and exploiting wide areas. The likes of Willian and Bobby Decordova-Reid have been instrumental in this regard. Defensively, though, Fulham has struggled, especially away from home. Their high-pressing style sometimes leaves them exposed at the back, which teams have exploited.

Key Players: For Chelsea, Sterling and Mudryk are crucial in providing attacking impetus. In midfield, Conor Gallagher’s energy and Enzo Fernández’s creativity are vital. For Fulham, Willian’s experience and Jimenez’s attacking prowess will be key, while João Palhinha anchors the midfield.

Management Impact: Pochettino’s approach at Chelsea has been mixed. His tactical flexibility is commendable, but the team has lacked consistency. Silva at Fulham has done a commendable job, bringing a clear attacking philosophy, though defensive frailties need addressing.

Expected Goals Analysis: Chelsea’s expected goals (xG) suggest they create plenty of scoring opportunities but their conversion rate is a concern. Fulham, meanwhile, has a decent xG, highlighting their effectiveness upfront but their xG against on the road indicates defensive vulnerabilities.

Tactical Comparison: Chelsea’s approach is more methodical and possession-oriented, while Fulham relies on quick transitions. Chelsea’s squad depth gives them an edge, but Fulham’s cohesive unit has shown they can punch above their weight.

Suggestions for Improvement: Chelsea needs to be more clinical in front of goal and tighten up defensively. Fulham should focus on improving their away form, particularly in shoring up their defence against fast counter-attacks.

Pros and Cons of Strategies: Chelsea’s possession play allows control but can be predictable. Fulham’s attacking flair is commendable, but their open play can leave them susceptible at the back.

Managerial Analysis: Pochettino, while tactically astute, has been criticised for not getting the best out of a talented squad. Silva, on the other hand, has maximised his resources but needs to find a balance between attack and defence.

Prediction for Gameplay: Expect Chelsea to dominate possession and try to break down a resilient Fulham side, which will look to exploit any spaces on the counter. It will be a game of cat and mouse, with tactical nuances playing a significant role.

Predictions with Rationale

  1. Chelsea to Win Chelsea, amidst a season of ups and downs, have found a stronger footing at Stamford Bridge, particularly leveraging the attacking speed of Mykhaylo Mudryk and Raheem Sterling. Their offensive capabilities are expected to tip the scales in their favour against Fulham. However, Fulham has demonstrated their ability to score, even in challenging away games. Chelsea’s defensive weaknesses, combined with Fulham’s attacking persistence, suggest a scenario where Chelsea could secure a win but also concede a goal. This matchup is poised for Chelsea’s attack to shine, albeit with potential lapses in their defence allowing Fulham to find the net.
  2. Correct Score: Chelsea 2-1 Fulham A scoreline of 2-1 in favour of Chelsea seems plausible, considering the patterns of both teams. Chelsea has the offensive tools to breach Fulham’s defence, but the Cottagers have also shown they can find the back of the net, especially with players like Willian and Jimenez. Expect a competitive match, with Chelsea edging it due to their superior attacking options and home advantage. Fulham’s recent defensive record, particularly away, suggests they might concede a couple, despite posing an offensive threat themselves.
  3. Goalscorer Prediction: Mykhaylo Mudryk to Score Mudryk has quickly adapted to the Premier League’s demands, showcasing his speed, dribbling skills, and ability to create chances. His directness and willingness to take on defenders make him a constant threat. Fulham’s defensive vulnerabilities, especially on the flanks, could be exploited by Mudryk’s pace and agility. His recent form and growing confidence suggest he’s likely to find the net, making him a solid choice for a goalscorer prediction.
  4. Corner Prediction: Chelsea to Have More Corners Chelsea’s playing style, which involves stretching the play wide and delivering crosses, often results in a higher number of corner kicks. Fulham, expected to adopt a more defensive stance, particularly in an away game, might find themselves under pressure and conceding corners. Chelsea’s attacking impetus and propensity to attack down the wings should result in more corner opportunities for the Blues.
  5. Shot on Target: Raheem Sterling Sterling, known for his ability to cut in and shoot, is likely to test the goalkeeper. His positional intelligence and movement off the ball often put him in positions to take shots. Against a Fulham defence that has shown vulnerability, especially in away games, Sterling’s chances of hitting the target are high. His experience and finishing ability make him a probable candidate to register at least one shot on target.
  6. Yellow Card Prediction: João Palhinha Palhinha’s role as a midfield enforcer for Fulham often sees him involved in numerous tackles and physical duels. His aggressive style of play, essential in breaking up opposition attacks, naturally leads to cautions. Against Chelsea’s dynamic midfield, he will be crucial in disrupting their rhythm, which could result in a booking, given his track record and the nature of his playing position.
  7. Assist Prediction: Conor Gallagher Gallagher’s energetic displays and ability to find space in attacking areas make him a likely candidate for an assist. His vision and passing range, coupled with Chelsea’s forwards’ intelligent movement, increase the likelihood of him providing a key pass leading to a goal. Gallagher’s work rate and determination to drive forward can create significant opportunities for Chelsea, making him a strong contender to register an assist in this derby.
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Tyler Morris
Sports writer and analyst Tyler Morris has more than eight years of experience writing about a range of sports. He has considerable knowledge of football, and he has also covered US sports extensively, offering in-depth comments and analysis on the most recent events in these sports. Tyler is a respected specialist in the field since he utilises his knowledge to provide incisive analysis and opinion on the most recent sports events with a track record of successful tips.