Chelsea Set for Tough Derby

Jane Barrett
By , Updated on: Jan 31, 2023 07:00 PM
Chelsea Set for Tough Derby
  • Chelsea v Fulham
  • Friday, February 3, 2023, 15:00 ET
  • At Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea is desperately in need of a Premier League win, but it faces a tough derby challenge this weekend against neighbors Fulham.

Who do Bettors Favor?

Checking out the latest odds at the top rated online sportsbooks we can see that bettors are heavily favoring the home team to win. Chelsea is priced at around -175 to win this game, while the draw is rated as a +320 chance and Fulham can be wagered at +475 to win the game.

Chelsea v FulhamBetOnlineMyBookieBetUS

Chelsea Struggles Continue

With a ten-point deficit to make up to reach the Premier League top four, Chelsea continues to struggle and is in for a difficult battle to secure a Champions League spot

Early in September, the move to replace Thomas Tuchel with new coach Graham Potter appeared to be a good one, but initial success could not mask the deficiencies of an uneven squad. Since returning to domestic play, Chelsea's performance has been mixed, with two wins out of six in the top flight and a 4-0 setback in the FA Cup.

If you are searching for pluses, you could perhaps make a note of the current defensive record. Chelsea does have the fourth-best defence in the league, and it  has only been defeated by a single goal in two of the latest six league games. However, with the eighth-worst offence in the top division, Potter must find a way to transform this squad into a better offensive unit.

Fulham Defy Conventional Wisdom

Fulham, promoted out of the Championship at the conclusion of last season, has continued to defy the conventional wisdom that promoted teams always struggle when they reach the top flight.

Under manager Marco Silva, the team has demonstrated strength and resilience, along with remarkable discipline, and the capacity to score important goals. Currently seventh, having earned nine wins from 21 games, Fulham has a realistic chance of qualifying for Europe next autumn, which could be a remarkable accomplishment for a newly promoted side.

Losses to Newcastle as well as Tottenham in the club's last two games were disappointing, but both teams are positioned above Fulham in the standings and you can bet that the Fulham players will relish the chance to accomplish an unusual league double against Chelsea.

EPL Betting Head-to-Head

This is not the sole West London derby, but it is arguably the most intense, with two teams located within two miles of each other. In fact, it dates back to 1910 and a second-tier match that Fulham won 1-0.

For most of its history, however, Chelsea has had the better of the head to head rivalry, having won 50 of 88 games, with 26 drawn matches and just 12 Fulham victories.

From the second half of the 1960s to the early 1970s, Fulham's record against its closest rivals was at its peak. From 1967 to 1979, the teams played 11 times, primarily in Division Two, and Chelsea won only once, in contrast to Fulham's five victories.

Since that era, Chelsea has completely dominated, especially since Roman Abramovich arrived in the 2000s. In the 21st century, Fulham has only defeated Chelsea twice, although last month's 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage in the top Division was notable.

EPL Team News

For Graham Potter's the team news at Chelsea remains unsettling, as the squad is missing six major players for this contest. The return dates of wide players Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic, as well as goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, are currently unknown, while goalscorer Armando Broja will not play again this season.

Important defensive midfield players N'Golo Kante and Denis Zakaria, who are both battling hamstring injuries, are expected to return to action in February, although not in time for this match. Additionally, on-loan playmaker Joao Felix will be absent as he continues to serve a suspension.

For Fulham, Neeskens Kabano, who has been sidelined since November with a ruptured Achilles tendon, is the team's only significant injury absence. Silva made seven changes to the team for the FA Cup match against Sunderland, so we can expect to see a more familiar looking lineup here.

EPL Match Betting Pick

Fulham under Marco Silva is a resilient team and its ability to get results on the road has been a notable feature. It has won three of its last five away games, although its record against the biggest teams in the division remains poor.

Whether Chelsea can any longer be said to belong to that category is an open question. Potter’s team is strong defensively and it can lean on that again here, but in the absence of key attacking game-changers it will struggle to create enough opportunities to beat a confident Fulham. The draw therefore looks the best option in the match betting market.

Draw Chelsea v Fulham

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Meet the author

Jane Barrett

With over 15 years of experience, Jane Barrett is a respected journalist in the sports betting industry. Jane has lent her expertise to major outlets including Betfair, ESPN, and Sporting Life during her prolific career. As a leading writer covering the sports bettin...

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