Chelsea v Fulham

Claudio Ranieri when he was Chelsea manager
Current Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri was Chelsea’s manager from 2000 to 2004

TEAM NEWS

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard should be available after an ankle injury, with head coach Maurizio Sarri set to rotate his squad again after making 10 changes for the midweek Europa League win.

Olivier Giroud scored twice in that game but might not feature on Sunday after picking up an ankle problem.

Fulham have no new reported injuries for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Kevin McDonald remain sidelined with thigh and hamstring issues.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@SimonBrotherton: Chelsea bounced back from their first Premier League defeat of the season with a comfortable 4-0 win over 10-man PAOK in the Europa League on Thursday, setting them up nicely for this West London derby.

Fulham haven’t beaten their neighbours for 12 years, but will make the short trip in better spirits after ending a run of seven straight defeats in all competitions with victory over Southampton.

It was Claudio Ranieri’s first game in charge at Craven Cottage, and this weekend he returns to one of his former clubs, eager to improve Fulham’s dismal away form. One point from a possible 21 on the road is a meagre return, but there are easier places to try to improve it than Stamford Bridge.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri: “Whenever I play my former teams, it’s always special. When you play against Chelsea, you have to be very attentive, but we’re working hard and I’m confident it’ll be a very good derby.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri got a very good, and very important, win over Southampton last week – but this is a much tougher assignment.

Chelsea just put in a poor performance, against a very good Spurs side. If they play like they have showed they can on Sunday, then they will bounce back with a win.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro’s full predictions v Creed II star and Everton fan Dolph Lundgren

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Chelsea are unbeaten the last 16 times they have faced Fulham in the league, and have lost only one of their 26 Premier League matches against the Cottagers (W15, D10).
  • Fulham’s last win over Chelsea came in March 2006, when Luis Boa Morte’s goal gave them a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage.
  • This is the first meeting between the two London neighbours for almost five years.

Chelsea

  • Chelsea have picked up just one point from the last six available and suffered their first league defeat of the season at Tottenham last weekend.
  • They haven’t gone three Premier League games without a win since September 2016.
  • The Blues are unbeaten at Stamford Bridge since April but are aiming to keep consecutive home league clean sheets for the first time in 2018.
  • Chelsea have won both of their home London derbies this season – beating Arsenal in August and Crystal Palace in November.
  • Chelsea’s next home goal will be their 1,000th at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

Fulham

  • Fulham ended a run of seven consecutive defeats in all competitions with a 3-2 win over Southampton last weekend.
  • They have picked up just one point from a possible 21 in away games this season.
  • Fulham are the only one of the 92 league sides in English football yet to keep a clean sheet this season – and have conceded at least two goals in 11 of their 13 league games.
  • They have conceded 18 away goals, more than any other team in the Premier League this term.
  • Fulham have lost all three of their London derbies in the Premier League this season, with an aggregate score of 10-2.

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