1 March 2019

Fulham v. Chelsea Preview  (Sky Sports)

Fulham v. ChelseaKepa Arrizabalaga could return in goal in place of Willy Caballero when Chelsea play Fulham on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Caballero started Wednesday's 2-0 win over Tottenham as Kepa was disciplined for his refusal to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final.

However, Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has said Kepa remains his first-choice goalkeeper and may return against west London rivals Fulham.

"Kepa is our first goalkeeper, but we are very happy for Willy that he can play in a very difficult match," said Sarri. "Kepa will be on the pitch for one of the next two matches. I have not decided yet, I want to see the last two training sessions, of course, for every player.

"On Sunday we played 120 minutes and 95 on Wednesday. We ran for 15km on Sunday on average and Wednesday was 12km, so we have to consider it."

A 2-0 win over Tottenham on Wednesday saw Chelsea stay sixth in the Premier League, three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, but with a game in hand.

Fulham will be managed by former midfielder Scott Parker, who is in a caretaker role after Claudio Ranieri was sacked on Thursday following a 2-0 loss to Southampton.

Ranieri lasted just 106 days and leaves Fulham 19th in the Premier League, 10 points from safety with 10 games left to play.

Parker has been placed in charge until the end of the season, with former first-team coach Stuart Gray joining as his assistant.

"I hope I can transmit my passion to the team and get my energy across," said Parker.

"I know there's more to football than passion and drive, but that's a fundamental element. At times we've been a little easy to play against, and we need to address that."

Team news

Defender Alfie Mawson and goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli are out with injuries for Fulham. Andre Schurrle is out as he recovers from a virus.

Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns but Sarri could rotate his squad after a challenging series of fixtures.

Opta stats

Fulham have won just one of their last 32 league meetings with Chelsea (D12 L19), beating them 1-0 in the Premier League in March 2006.

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 17 Premier League games against Fulham (W10 D7). Only against Tottenham (28) and Everton (18) have they had longer unbeaten runs in the competition.

Fulham have lost all nine of their Premier League London derby matches this season - they could become the first team in top-flight history to lose 10 such matches in a single campaign.

Chelsea have lost two of their four away London derby matches this season (W1 D1). They last lost three away London derbies in a single Premier League campaign back in 2001-02.

Fulham have lost seven of their last eight Premier League games, conceding at least twice in all eight matches.

Chelsea have lost their last three Premier League away games by an aggregate score of 0-12. They last lost four in a row on the road in December 2000 (a run of five).

Merson's prediction

Chelsea. How many? How many do you want?

Chelsea have turned a corner, raised the bar and set an example. I expect them to go here and win this comfortably. These two are chalk and cheese.

It looked like Fulham downed tools the other night, they didn't look interested, and looked like a relegated team. If they play like that against Chelsea, who are far better than Southampton, it's going to be a comfortable result.


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