Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino got a much-needed lift with Wednesday’s EFL Cup victory at home to Brighton, but frustrations may grow again following a Premier League trip to fierce rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage.
A cup run is all well and good but Chelsea need their fortunes to change in the Premier League as they have taken only five points from their first six games, following on from last season’s disappointing 12th-placed finish.
Their only win of the season came at home to struggling Luton and they have gone three league games without a goal, failing to break down Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Aston Villa.
The Blues are creating plenty of chances but are failing to convert them and they should expect a rough ride against Fulham, who have taken eight points from their first six games.
Marco Silva’s side finished eight points above west London rivals Chelsea in last season's Premier League and they have kept back-to-back clean sheets against Luton and Crystal Palace.
Nicolas Jackson grabbed what was just his second goal of the season in midweek’s 1-0 win over Brighton and Chelsea will have to wait for their new signing to bolster that tally as he misses out through suspension.
However, Jackson looks a work in progress and while in time he should live up to his £31.8m price tag, there is a lot of pressure on the youngster’s shoulders.
A pre-season injury to Christopher Nkunku has intensified matters and with Mykhailo Mudryk so far proving a flop, Chelsea are significantly lacking firepower.
The Blues have scored only five goals in six league games from an xG figure of around 12, suggesting performances haven’t been as bad as results.
But no goal in three league games paints a worrying tale and Fulham have the defensive discipline to frustrate the toothless visitors.
The Cottagers have responded well to a 5-1 defeat at Manchester City, winning 1-0 at home to Luton prior to a goalless draw with Crystal Palace.
Fulham collected four points from two league meetings with Chelsea last season and they finished eight points above the Blues, so they look a big price to avoid defeat at home.
The visitors have won only two of their last 18 Premier League matches and their two away fixtures this season have seen them lose 3-1 at West Ham and draw 0-0 at Bournemouth.
There have been two or fewer goals in four of the last five meetings between this pair and this latest rivalry promises to be another low-scoring encounter.
Chelsea have really struggled to add a clinical finisher to their ranks this season and they have failed to score in three consecutive league matches.
Pochettino’s side have seen two or fewer goals scored in four of their six matches this season while Fulham’s last two fixtures have featured only one goal.
The Cottagers remain without Tosin Adarabioyo and Adama Traore but. Sasa Lukic is fit again. Full-back Kenny Tete faces a late fitness test.
Armando Broja could get the nod up front with Jackson out suspended. Malo Gusto is also banned and Ben Chilwell has joined Reece James, Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Wesley Fofana and Trevoh Chalobah on the sidelines.
Chelsea have won only two of their last 18 Premier League matches and last season they picked up only one point from two meetings with Fulham.
The Blues have won only twice in their last 16 Premier League away games.
The visitors have failed to score in three consecutive league games and there have been only three goals scored across their last four games in all competitions.
Fulham have keep back-to-back Premier League clean sheets and have lost only one of their last four league games.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.