All eyes and bet builders will be on Stamford Bridge this evening for what promises to be a fascinating West London Derby clash between financial heavyweights Chelsea and a Fulham side that has been punching well above their weight this term.
Chelsea’s spending spree in January has been making headlines, though the Blues have collected more new players than Premier League points this month, and a test against Marco Silva’s well-drilled Cottagers outfit should be another stern one.
Below, you can dive into my stats pack for today’s clash, which contains everything you need to put together a bookie-beating bet builder. Use the info presented below alongside my Stats Pack Guide to heighten your chance of success in the markets.
Chelsea are languishing in the Premier League’s mid-section and the stats they have posted so far are in keeping with the Blues’ trend of underperformance under Graham Potter.
Chelsea haven’t been making the most of their xG, however, the numbers show they should have conceded more at the other end too, while the Blues have been allowing opponents to clock more shots on target per 90 than they’ve been mustering themselves.
The card count in Chelsea’s league fixtures has also been on the high side and eight of them were brandished when they last played Fulham in January. You can grab odds of 5/4 for over 4.5 cards to land this evening.
Fulham will kick-off this evening’s West London Derby three places above Chelsea in the Premier League, though the Cottagers and their neighbours are well-matched across a number of underlying metrics.
There is concern that Fulham have been “getting away with it” from a defensive standpoint however, and the fact that Marco Silva’s side have the worst xG against per 90 figure in the entire division would back that up. When Fulham beat Chelsea 2-1 in January, they racked up just eight attempts to the Blues’ 20 and they lost the xG battle by a significant margin (1.0 to 2.1).
Player Shots and Shots on Target
German attacker Kai Havertz’s long-term future at the club might be in question, however, for the present at least, the 23-year-old has been one of the team’s most-threatening forwards.
Havertz had three attempts against Fulham last month, two of which were accurate, and the ex-Bayer Leverkusen starlet is 7/5 to match that SOT haul against the Cottagers again today. Mykhailo Mudryk, who is in line to make his home debut, is priced at 1/2 to notch at least one accurate attempt
Aleksandar Mitrovic remains a talismanic figure in attack for Fulham, though the Serbian has lodged just two shots on target in his last five appearances in league and cup combined and better value is offered elsewhere.
Former Chelsea winger Willian has hit the target with four shots in his last four appearances for the Cottagers, one of which was unleashed against Chelsea last month and the veteran Brazilian is available at a tempting 6/5 to find his range with a strike on his old stomping ground.
Player Goals and Assists
Chelsea’s troubles in the final third have been well-documented this season, though Kai Havertz scored the winner in their last Premier League home assignment (vs Palace) and as their most-prolific marksman overall, he could be worth a look at 15/8 to score anytime again today.
Both Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez will be doubly determined to make their home debuts in style this evening and at 9/5 and 9/2 respectively, they look like interesting prospects to either score or assist at Stamford Bridge later on.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has rattled the net just once in his last five Premier League appearances, though the Serbian striker is still Fulham’s leading scorer by a distance in 2022/23.
Mitrovic missed the Cottagers’ win over Chelsea last month, though he is pretty shabbily priced at 2/1 to make up for lost time with a goal against the Blues today. Andreas Pereira, who nabbed an assist in Fulham’s January triumph over their rivals, might be a more palatable choice at 13/5 to finish with a goal contribution today.
The Brazilian has been quietly rebuilding his reputation at Fulham and he has already claimed two goals and seven assists in the league since August.
Chelsea rank third in the Premier League for average possession held per game and Graham Potter will expect his Blues to be the prime ball-hoggers in this evening’s derby.
January recruit Benoit Badiashile looks very assured when in distribution mode and the young French defender played an impressive 88 passes in his last Premier League appearance against Liverpool at Anfield. The 21-year-old should be able to record another high figure today.
His foil at centre-half, Thiago Silva, will also be tasked with instigating moves from the back and there is always room on your coupon for the 38-year-old pass master.
Like Chelsea, Fulham’s most prolific passers are found in defensive areas, with centre-backs Issa Diop, Tim Ream and Tosin Adarabioyo all ranking well for the Cottagers in the distribution department.
Ream and Adarabioyo were the chosen pair against Chelsea last month and both defenders played over 50 passes in Fulham’s win over the Blues. No other Cottager played as many on the day, though Marco Silva’s troops probably won’t see as much of the ball as they did in January.
Conor Gallagher wields a combination of aggression and emotion in midfield which can often land him in trouble with referees. The 22-year-old has already been carded six times in the Premier League and at 21/10, the youngster offers decent value in the bookings market this evening.
Enzo Fernandez (13/5) could be another option to consider in the same arena if the diminutive Argentinean World Cup winner is handed a debut. The 22-year-old was booked seven times in 23 starts in all competitions for Benfica before he jetted off to Qatar.
Elsewhere, Reece James could be worth a look. The full-back is fit again, however, he has played just 53 minutes of Premier League football since October and ring rust could affect the timing of his tackles.
Midfield duo Joao Palhinha and Andreas Pereira rank among the three most-kicked players at Fulham this season in terms of total fouls and both combative engine room operators could be on the receiving end again when they face Conor Gallagher and Enzo Fernandez this evening.
Willian rolled back the years when he faced old club Chelsea last month and the Brazilian will hope to bring the nuisance factor to Stamford Bridge when he lines up against Reece James.
Match-Ups to watch
Conor Gallagher vs João Palhinha
Reece James vs Willian
Enzo Fernandez vs Andreas Pereira
Portuguese man o’ war Joao Palhinha builds his game around hard tackles and beefy challenges and the 27-year-old should always be in your thinking as a card market candidate. Palhinha carries odds of 15/8 to have his name taken this evening.
Kenny Tete (21/10) has already collected six cards in just 15 Premier League appearances this season and the full-back has the unenviable task of marking the dynamic Mykhailo Mudryk today.
Ahead of Tete on the right flank, potent foul-merchant Bobby De Cordova-Reid (12/5) is also sitting on half a dozen cautions. The 30-year-old will have to be right on top of his defensive duties today and with reams of chasing back to do, his foul count could be lofty again.
Mykhailo Mudryk only played 35 minutes on his Premier League bow against Liverpool, though the technically-gifted Ukrainian was fouled several times by Reds’ defenders at Anfield. You get the feeling Mudryk will be singled out for special treatment most games, and his marker Kenny Tete is almost certain to aim some kicks in his direction later today.
Like many players of his ilk, Mason Mount’s ability to carry the ball through opponent’s defensive line invites opponents to stop him in his tracks unceremoniously. Fulham’s Palhinha will be out to brick wall Mount’s manoeuvres this evening.
Lewis Hall or Marc Cucurella will start at left-back for Chelsea today and Fulham’s Bobby De Cordova-Reid will be tasked with limiting the influence of the defender picked to rampage forward down his side at Stamford Bridge.
Match-Ups to watch
Joao Palhinha vs Mason Mount
Kenny Tete vs Mykhailo Mudryk
Bobby De Cordova-Reid vs Lewis Hall/Marc Cucurella
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Here’s a few picks that stood out to me from the pack. Just a reminder, who knows who will start for Chelsea to it’s probably worth waiting for lineups before you go placing anything. Combined, my four picks come in at around 3/1.
Chelsea vs Fulham
Kenny Tete averages 1.61 fouls p/90. His opposite number, likely Mykhailo Mudryk, was fouled 2.50 times p/90 in his first outing against Liverpool.
Aleksandar Mitrovic averages 1.54 fouls p/90.
Chelsea average 2.35 cards for per game, and 4.10 in total. Fulham average 2.43 cards for and 4.24 in total. Referee averages 3.53 cards per game.
Chelsea games average 10.60 corners, while Fulham games average 10.47. There were 12 last time they met.