Graham Potter takes his Chelsea side battered by Manchester City only a few days ago in dire need of a win. The Blues are on a run of one win in seven games and the former Brighton boss – externally at least – is under huge pressure as the problems continue to mount. Injuries haven’t helped the cause of course but things really aren’t going to plan. New signing Joao Felix, however, could make his debut.
Fulham, meanwhile, have enjoyed life back in the Premier League and head into tonight’s game at Craven Cottage full of confidence. Marco Silva’s side sit above west London rivals Brentford and Chelsea after a successful time of things in the top-flight for the first time in what feels like an age.
A huge game for London football, you can follow all of the action with Standard Sport’s dedicated match blog. Nizaar Kinsella will be providing expert analysis from the ground!
Chelsea beware: How Willian went from Arsenal flop to Fulham leader
Few predicted Fulham would be flying so high this season, and even less tipped Willian to be one of the reasons why.
The Cottagers have been one of the stories of the season, and victory at home against Chelsea on Thursday will move them to within four points of the Champions League places. They have won four games in a row in all competitions since the World Cup and their transformation from yo-yo team to Euro contenders has been remarkable.
Just as impressive is the brilliant form of Willian, especially when you consider his best years looked behind him when he ripped up his Arsenal contract in 2021. The big question when the Brazilian joined Fulham on a free transfer on deadline day last summer was whether he could be anything like the player he once was at Chelsea?
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Chelsea working to terminate Bakayoko deal after disastrous AC Milan loan
Chelsea are working to release Tiemoue Bakayoko from his contract after a disastrous loan spell at AC Milan.
The 28-year-old has been stuck as an unused substitute on the San Siro bench as Milan try to avoid triggering an automatic £13million purchase clause based on appearances.
The one-time France international hasn’t played for Milan since May as they aim to keep him from reaching the mark of 15 appearances across the two-year loan stint that would trigger the clause.
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Three ways Chelsea could line up with Joao Felix in new-look attack
Joao Felix has been drafted in on loan to help save Chelsea’s season and improve Graham Potter’s failing attack.
The 23-year-old has moved to Stamford Bridge on a deal until the end of the season that has cost £8million plus his £270,000-a-week wages.
Potter will hope Felix can quickly adapt to English football but the Chelsea manager has said that “from a physical perspective he can go in”.
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Prediction: 1-1 draw
No match looks easy for Chelsea at the moment, but a derby at Craven Cottage really will be a test as Fulham continue to impress on their return to the Premier League.
With a long injury list and an attack short of confidence, it could be another frustrating night for Potter’s side.
Chelsea team news: Joao Felix could make debut
Joao Felix is in line for his first minutes as a Chelsea player having arrived on loan from Atletico Madrid on Wednesday. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was absent from the squad thumped by Manchester City in the FA Cup due to a minor back injury, but is expected to be fit to start if required.
Denis Zakaria will hope to return to Chelsea’s starting XI after coming off the bench at the Etihad Stadium, while Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta are also expected to come back into the side. Raheem Sterling missed out against City and will be absent for the foreseeable with injury, while Christian Pulisic has been ruled out until March.
Reece James, Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell, Armando Broja and Edouard Mendy are all still unavailable, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is unlikely to be risked yet despite returning to training.
Fulham team news: Mitrovic suspended
Fulham will be without Aleksandar Mitrovic tonight in a huge blow to Marco Silva, after the striker picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Leicester.
Carlos Vinicius is likely to replace Fulham’s talisman, while Layvin Kurzawa is in contention to make his second Premier League start of the season. Willian could feature against his former club. Neeskens Kebano is out and Shane Duffy doubtful.
Where to watch Fulham vs Chelsea
TV channel: In the UK, the game will be broadcast live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate. Coverage begins at 7pm.
Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the contest online via the BT Sport website or app.
Live blog: You can follow all the action via Standard Sport’s live blog, featuring expert analysis from Nizaar Kinsella at Craven Cottage.
Good afternoon and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Chelsea’s trip to west London rivals Fulham tonight.
Blues boss Graham Potter is under huge pressure heading into this one, while the home side are currently the capital’s best team.
Kick-off from Craven Cottage is at 8pm GMT.
Fulham v Chelsea: Premier League – live | Premier League