Fulham will lock horns with Chelsea on Monday in West London derby.
For the first time in 40 years, Chelsea come into this unique encounter as the lower-ranked team from the previous season, having finished below Fulham last season for the first time since 1982-83, a season that’s significant in Blues’ history for being literally the worst-ever in club history.
Chelsea finished 18th in the second division that year, was Chelsea lowest ever final position in the pyramid, avoiding relegation to the third tier only on the final day of the season with a scoreless draw against Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge, which was at the same time threatened to be sold out from under us as well. (Fulham were 4th, just missing out on a promotion; there were no playoffs.
Obviously, the circumstances are drastically different from what they were 40 years ago, but Chelsea’s current form are great concerns for their teeming fans across the globe. Though, a gritty 1-0 win midweek against Brighton in the League Cup brings a bit of promise and gives something to build upon.
* Chelsea have an excellent historical record against Fulham and have won 50 out of the 89 matches played between the two teams, as opposed to Fulham’s 12 victories.
* Fulham picked up four points in their two Premier League games against Chelsea last season – as many points as they had achieved in the 15 such games preceding this run.
* Chelsea lost this exact fixture 2-1 last season and last suffered consecutive league defeats away from home against Fulham in 1977.
* Chelsea have spent only 39 minutes trailing in their last 14 matches against Fulham in the Premier League, with all these minutes coming in their 2-1 defeat last season.
* Chelsea are winless in their last 18 matches against teams starting the day above them in the Premier League table and have lost eight of their last nine matches against such teams away from home.