Chelsea vs Fulham: Paul Merson makes prediction for London derby…..will Eden Hazard play?

CHELSEA welcome Fulham to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for their first Premier League game back since losing to Tottenham.

The 3-1 Wembley defeat – their first loss in any competition so far this campaign – was arguably the Blues’ worst performance of the season.

Spurs outplayed Maurizio Sarri’s men for large parts and looked far superior in most positions on the pitch.

A late Olivier Giroud strike after being 3-0 down did nothing to harbour the dismal display put up against their rivals.

This Sunday though is chance to put that performance right with another London derby on the agenda, this time against geographically the closest Premier League rival in Fulham.

The Cottagers may be on the up after winning only their second game of the season last time out against Southampton.

New boss Claudio Ranieri is set for a return to the club he managed from 2000-04 and he will be hopeful of causing an upset.

It is not yet know whether Chelsea top scorer Eden Hazard will be fit to play in the game.

The Belgium international twisted his ankle in the game against Spurs and missed the 4-0 Europa League win over PAOK on Thursday.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has had his say on the contest, and he thinks the Blues will have too much for Fulham.

“Chelsea got well beat last weekend. Tottenham caught them by surprise with the way they pressed and it made Jorginho look like Alberto Aquilani,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“He didn’t get any time on the ball to pass, and he was lost. If he’s not getting on it, who’s going to give it to Willian or Eden Hazard?

“You’re also not going to win anything with David Luiz in a back four, or Marcos Alonso at left-back. He plays as a 10!

“Fulham will go there and stick 10 behind the ball, and you’ve got 95 minutes to score if you’re Chelsea. I expect them to win.

“I think this is where we’ll see if Claudio Ranieri has a chance of keeping Fulham up.

“Last week they had to attack anyway, they had to win. This will show if he’s been able to do anything with their defence.”

And Merson has predicted a 2-0 win for the Blues.

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