A change of ownership hasn’t altered how Chelsea operate.
Several poor performances in the league and a loss to Dinamo Zagreb resulted in the sacking of Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday, with Brighton manager Graham Potter poised to replace him.
The fixtures are relentless in this unusual season, and the Blues are back in action at Saturday lunchtime for a west London derby with Fulham.
Double Chance: Fulham Win Or Draw
Chelsea fans will be hoping for a new-manager bounce, though it wasn’t like the players downed tools. Tuchel’s tactics were ineffective, but there are structural issues with this Chelsea team, even after spending so heavily in the summer.
Fulham are not an easy opponent. They have fought hard against both Arsenal and Tottenham, and drew with Liverpool at Craven Cottage earlier this season.
Even if Potter is appointed in time, he isn’t going to have much of an opportunity to work with the players before this one. Chelsea’s league performances make it difficult to have any confidence in them.
Anytime Goalscorer: Aleksandar Mitrovic
If Fulham are going to take something from this match, there’s a good chance it means Aleksandar Mitrovic has got on the scoresheet.
Erling Haaland is the only player with more goals than Mitrovic in 2022-23, and the Norwegian is also the only player who can better Mitrovic’s tally of 4.8 expected goals. The Serbian has found the net in five of six league matches, including goals against Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs.
Total Cards: Over 4.5
Only Nottingham Forest and Manchester United have been shown more cards than Fulham this season. Chelsea have already had two players sent off, and their disorganised defence leads to a lot of panicked challenges.
These two teams rank in the top three in tackles per match. David Coote has been appointed as the lead official for this London derby, and he averaged the most yellow cards per match in the Premier League in 2021-22 (of referees to take charge of more than four fixtures).
This is friendly as London rivalries go, but the nature of these teams suggests the over is good value at 7/5.
All odds are subject to change