The Blues bounced back from their Carabao Cup final loss to Manchester City – and the associated controversy that arrived with it due to Kepa’s refusal to be substituted – with a fine midweek win over Tottenham.
Fulham, meanwhile, reside in the relegation zone and earlier this week jettisoned manager Claudio Ranieri, leaving the path open for ex-midfielder Scott Parker to take charge of the team.
Can the former Chelsea and England man set them on the road to recovery with an unlikely victory over his old club?
|Game||Fulham vs Chelsea|
|Date||Sunday, March 3|
|Time||2:05pm GMT / 9:05am ET|
|Stream (US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBCSN / UNIVERSO||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will by shown on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event. It can be streamed on Sky Go.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Manchester City squad|
|Defenders||Stones, Laporte, Otamendi, Mangala, Sandler, Zinchenko, Walker, Danilo|
|Midfielders||Fernandinho, Gundogan, Foden, Delph, De Bruyne, D. Silva|
|Forwards||Sane, Sterling, B. Silva, Mahrez, Aguero, Jesus|
Confirmed Fulham starting XI: Rico, Odoi, Nordtveit, Ream, Bryan, Chambers, McDonald, Cairney, Babel, Sessegnon, Mitrovic
|Goalkeepers||Arrizabalaga, Caballero, Green|
|Defenders||Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill, Ampadu, Emerson|
|Midfielders||Jorginho, Drinkwater, Kante, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic|
|Forwards||Willian, Pedro, Hazard, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Higuain|
Confirmed Chelsea starting XI: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Emerson, Kante, Jorginho, Barkley, Willian, Hazard, Higuain
Betting & Match Odds
Scott Parker is 6/1 at Bet365 to get one over on his old club and lead Fulham to victory, while Chelsea can be backed at 1/2. A draw is priced at 15/4.
Maurizio Sarri went some way to relieve the pressure that was building on him and his Chelsea side with a critical 2-0 win over Tottenham on Wednesday.
After the farcical scenes at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final, which saw Kepa refuse to be replaced before the penalty shootout that Manchester City won, there was a sense that control of the team was slipping away from the Italian.
While some critics have suggested that it’s now time for the former Napoli boss to come down hard on the squad, Sarri has said the Spaniard remains his first-choice goalkeeper, despite dropping him for the midweek victory.
Although questions rage over the internal discipline of the Stamford Bridge outfit off the field, on it consistency has been their chief enemy. The Blues have failed to win three successive games since early November, and given their target is to reach the Champions League, such form is unacceptable.
Indeed, their away form has been especially poor, with their 2-1 Europa League win over Malmo ending a four-match losing streak on their travels that included derby losses against Spurs and Arsenal, as well as thumping defeats at Bournemouth and Manchester City – the worst in the club’s Premier League history.
Despite their relative struggles, they are still faring far better than a Fulham side that seem destined to drop back to the Championship, having sacked Claudio Ranieri earlier this week and replaced him with Scott Parker.
Nineteenth in the league, they have only 17 points to their credit and lie 10 from safety. Realistically, they will need to at least double that tally to stand a chance of survival and with matches against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City looming, that appears a monumental task.
Nevertheless, it is one that their interim boss is ready to embrace, despite bittersweet feelings about his first such role.
“As a young person in this position, I'm very grateful,” he said on Thursday.
“It's mixed emotions, what with sitting where we are in the league and Claudio losing his job, but the flipside is one of excitement. I appreciate the opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it.”
No less than Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary Manchester United boss, has sent him a message wishing him well in the post ahead of Sunday’s baptism of fire.