Prediction & odds for the game: Fulham (13/2) v Chelsea (9/20) – ST is backing the away win
When: Saturday, 16th January @ 5.30pm K.O
Where: Craven Cottage
Fulham and Chelsea will meet at Craven Cottage in the Premier League this weekend in one of the biggest West London derbies for years.
They may have been written off at the start of the season as relegation favourites, but Fulham have proven themselves to be anything but in the last few months. In addition to being situated above West Brom and Sheffield United in the table, they also have a handful of players who look ready and willing to fight for the crest on their shirt. It’s not hard to imagine Scott Parker has had an awful lot to do with that, and if they want to survive past their first season back in the big time, they’ll need to maintain that mentality.
Picking up draws has been the name of the game recently for the Cottagers and they’ve been tough to break down defensively because of it. Their draw against champions Liverpool set them on a trend of steady results as they went on to pick up a point against Brighton, Newcastle and Southampton before beating local rivals QPR in the FA Cup. Then, in their last outing, they battled their way to a 1-1 draw against Tottenham in their first PL game of 2021.
From title contenders to lingering down in ninth place, it’s been quite the decline for Chelsea Football Club in recent weeks. It’s difficult to pinpoint any one major problem that they’re suffering with, and yet while you can understand that this is the most competitive campaign we’ve seen in a long time within this league, there’s also the understanding that a team of superstars such as this should be performing at a much higher level on a far more consistent basis.
Outside of wins over West Ham in the league and Morecambe in the FA Cup, this has been an increasingly tough time for Chelsea. They were beaten in the dying minutes by Wolves in mid-December, lost to Arsenal on Boxing Day, just about managed a draw against Aston Villa and then opened up the new year with a defeat to Manchester City.
This is going to be a far tighter game than Chelsea manager Frank Lampard would like, and while we don’t think a defeat would signal the end of his managerial stint at Stamford Bridge, we do think it would take him a whole lot closer to the edge. The man himself knows that and he’ll be drilling into these players that this is a derby which may not have that much hype, but it’s one that will be gritty – and we think the Blues will just about be able to scrape through with a vital win.
Our official scoreline prediction is going to be 2-1 Chelsea, ensuring we hit the over 2.5 goals marker.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 9/20 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 8/11 (All odds are taken from bet365).
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