Chelsea are back! Chelsea are back! It must be quite coincidental that when I return putting pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard, we put in one of the best performances under Sarri by beating the bottle jobs from N17 (or currently HA9) what a beautiful evening Wednesday was, Pedro was in sparkling form at both ends of the pitch and even Kieron Trippier tripped the light fantastic with a well taken own goal – congratulations on deceiving your own goalkeeper.
As postcodes go (and I’m no expert) we travel 1.7 miles from SW6 1HS on Sunday to SW6 6HH for our own postcode derby, against Fulham. The appointment at the Cottage is to pick up another three points and to bring them back to Stamford Bridge. Following up after a huge win we should be determined to do the same again; the 2.05pm kick off on Sunday isn’t an inspirational time for an atmosphere (do Fulham ever create an atmosphere though?) but we must be on our mettle to push Fulham a little closer to the trap door.
There are two players who intrigue me from the Fulham line-up; the first being Mitrović who can hold the ball up, is strong and given the right service, can score too. Some people may disagree, but he could actually be a useful addition to our squad, especially considering that he’s only 24. He might not fit the Sarri mould, as long as Sarri stays, but my initiative tells me that we could definitely offer the service to him to better his ten goals from 28 games this season.
The second player is ex-Chelsea man André Schürrle. It was unfortunate that Schürrle didn’t get the desired run of games at Chelsea, however, who can forget his hat-trick against Fulham in our 1-3 win there on March 1, 2014? Jose Mourinho described our first half performance that day as “our worst performance of the season” and also stated that he said nothing to the team at half time. Schürrle scored all three goals in a second half blitz before Fulham pulled one back. Schürrle was injured for the earlier game at Stamford Bridge this season, but is sure to start on Sunday, so, let’s give him a good reception.
At time of writing this (Feb 28) Fulham have just announced that former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri has been sacked with another former Chelsea player (Scott Parker) taking over. Ranieri took Fulham from bottom to 19th during the sixteen league games that he was in charge.
Pre the Sarri press conference, we don’t know yet if there were any injuries picked up from the Spurs game. Eden Hazard was substituted, but this was more due to playing the 120 minutes at Wembley and being selected on Wednesday. In my opinion, Caballero will stay between the sticks with Kepa making a return against Dynamo Kiev, where changes will be made for rest and rotation.
Match Prediction: As long as we don’t make any mistakes and show the determination and attitude of the last two games, we have every chance of coming away with all three points. Even with a new boss in charge, we should have too much for the Cottagers to cope with. 0-2 Chelsea.