Fulham meet Chelsea in a West-London derby clash as both teams look to boost their top-ten Premier League finish prospects.
Victory would see Fulham climb to sixth in the table, whilst Chelsea can leapfrog their hosts into seventh with a win by a two-goal margin or more.
Shane Duffy is a doubt for Fulham after he missed their FA Cup win at Hull with a virus.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (suspension) and Neeskens Kebano (Achilles) are both ruled out.
Chelsea could be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he missed their FA Cup defeat at Manchester City with a back injury.
Edouard Mendy (shoulder/finger), Ben Chilwell (thigh), N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (calf), Raheem Sterling (hamstring), Christian Pulisic, Reece James, Wesley Fofana and Armando Broja (all knee) remain absent.
When is Kick-Off?
Fulham host Chelsea at 8pm GMT at Craven Cottage on Thursday 11 September live on BT Sport, in a game which was postponed in September, due to death of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Fulham have collected only three points from their last 10 league meetings against Chelsea (D3, L7), during which they’ve lost their last seven clashes.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last ten visits to Craven Cottage (W7, D3).
- Fulham have won just one of 30 previous Premier League meetings against Chelsea (W1, D10, L19).
- Seven of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 11 league goals for Fulham this season have been scored via his feet – with six goals netted on his right foot compared to just one goal on his left foot.
- Chelsea have kept clean sheets in two of their last five league games away from home (W1, D2, L2).
With just one goal conceded since returning from the international break, Fulham do look like they’re serious about a challenge for European qualification especially after hard-fought victories at Leicester then Hull in their last two outings.
Chelsea meanwhile were just a creative disaster at Man City in the FA Cup on Sunday, with little quality and a defence which was easily pressed around and buckled under pressure, which is a huge concern when not even players like Kai Havertz and Mason Mount produced much effort.
A reaction from Chelsea is therefore absolutely vital here if they’re to keep any hopes of European football next season on track, whereas Fulham will be underdogs so the pressure is off them despite their previous difficulties when without Mitrovic this season.
I however just can’t see Graham Potter’s Blues turning on the quality here especially with their injury crisis and low confidence, which might just suit Fulham to at least nick a draw.
Prediction: Fulham 1-1 Chelsea
Result: Fulham 2-1 Chelsea