• Louis Wishlade

Match Preview: The SW6 Derby

Updated: May 7

On Saturday, Fulham and Chelsea will battle it out at the Bridge for the pride of the SW6 postcode. A win against their blue neighbours will be a big ask for the Whites, who have not won on Fulham Palace Road in 23 top-flight games, or 57 years. However, three points will be crucial to keep the Cottager’s dwindling survival hopes alive.

Chelsea, who are on course for a UEFA Champions League and FA Cup double, are expected to field a strong side against their local rivals as they look to secure their place in the top four. Tuchel has only Rudiger and Kovacic unavailable through injury and is expected to give young Scottish starlet Billy Gilmour some minutes.

The future of Chelsea, Billy Gilmour, may feature ahead of Chelsea's Real Madrid second leg.

Photo Credit: Talk Chelsea

Chelsea have found defensive solidity as of late, with the German manager utilising a 5-2-3 formation, conceding just 16 goals in 22 games under Tuchel - five of which came in a thrilling game against the Baggies. Therefore, Fulham, who are the league’s second least prolific scorers with just 25 goals, have a tough nut to crack.

Scott Parker’s Fulham also tough to beat, conceding just 43 goals this season – 42 of which were from inside the box. However, the Cottagers have also committed the most fouls this season. The Origional's legend has too favoured a 5-2-3 formation this season, although tested a variety of four-at-the-back formations in recent weeks in the quest for points.

Scott Parker will need to repeat his play-off final miracle to keep Fulham's survival hopes alive.

Photo Credits: TalkSPORT

The young English manager has three absences this week, with full-back Tete returning to action from COVID-19. Loftus-Cheek is ineligible against his parent club and Kongolo is out for the season, whilst an injury prone club-captain Cairney is finally returning to fitness.

The match is live on Sky Sports Main Event, kicking-off at 5:30 pm. Fulham will not be posting updates on social media due to the boycott and fans are reminded to visit their ‘match centre’ instead.

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