Fulham Chelsea Preview

Two Higher Percentage Opportunites in this one to my eye:

Alex Iwobi to have 2 shots on target 18.0 €20

Marc Cucurella to have 2 shots on target, 100.0 €5


Marco Silva is a big fan of Iwobi, having signed him from Arsenal at Everton and now at Fulham. He can play right or left midfield as well as in attack. Against Norwich last week, he played 90 minutes on the right side of the forward line, with Jimenez in the centre. He had three shots on goal, with one on target, which he scored.

He has competition in that position from Harry Wilson and Bobby Reid. However, looking at Bobby Reid’s minutes, he has only completed 90 minutes for Fulham in 2023 once. Wilson has been the preferred option since he got his chance at the end of last season, where he started nine games on the right wing, as well as doing so five times this season. The issue is that he has not been that effective in that position, which could be the reason why Silva has decided to invest in this area by signing Iwobi. He got his only assist this season in the last game, which was played in left midfield, a more natural position for him. Adama Traore is the only other natural option on the right-hand side, and he is ruled out for this game. So Iwobi shouldn’t be too much of a minutes risk, barring injury or a change of game state, like a sending off.

If he plays in this position against Chelsea tonight, he will likely be up against Levi Colwill, Ian Maatsen, or Cucurella. Given how poorly Cucurella has played linking up with Mudryk earlier this season, as well as how well he played against Mitoma last week, I’d expect that he will continue at right back against Fulham, with Colwill moving across and Silva pairing with Disasi at center back. Colwill is not going to get forward as much as Cucurella and is defensively stronger, but he may have to come across into the center at times if Chelsea get caught on the counterattack and Cucurella is out of position.

Given the average age of Fulham (very high, circa 30 years of age) compared with Chelsea (very young, circa 24 years of age), the risk of getting caught on the counter is lower, it has to be said.

During his Arsenal days, Iwobi’s attacking stats were impressive, with 1.6 shots per 90 with 40% of them (0.64/90) on target. He played further away from goal in the past few years with Everton, who are also a more defensive side, and still managed 1.29 shots on target per 90 from 2.57 shots (50% success).

So to see Iwobi priced at 18.0 (5.5%) against a side who are averaging 12 shots conceded per game, assuming he plays on the right side of the attacking front three (Fulham rarely change from this formation), looks high. Given Iwobi’s stats, I’d estimate it at 20–33% (average: 26.5%) or 4.0. So €20 at 18.0 has a positive expected value long-term. If his starting position is confirmed at 19.00, then I may increase the stake, also evaluating the Chelsea defensive side.

Marc Cucurella

Cucurella was priced at 100.0 for two shots on target against Fulham. Given his huge performance against Brighton / Mitoma last week it looks like he could be back to some of his best form and so the possibility is that he could revert to his earlier form for Brighton where he is also an attacking threat.

I don’t consider Cucurella a minutes risk given the injuries to Chelsea full backs. Chelsea have the highest possession of any team in the league this season and he will be a key player for them tonight to progress the ball up the sides, as either Colwill or Disasi will be the other full back and are not as progressive as he can be.

Against Brighton he didn’t get too far forward which was understandable given the speed and dribbling ability of Mitoma, but against William or Wilson of Fulham and given Chelsea’s limitations on the other side, he will need to offer attacking and progression in this game.

So what might be possible?

He averaged 0.75 shots per 90 while at Getafe with 25% on target.

Under Potter at Brighton his numbers dropped to 0.52 shots per 90 with 16% on target. (Last season he never got into a run of form so I am disregarding that as he potential for this team).

Given his Brighton numbers, he likely needs to be close to 100.0 So what might be different in this game?

  1. He should be higher up the pitch against Fulham with Chelsea having more of the ball.
  2. He looked impressively defensively against Brighton with a real warrior spirit. He should carry that into this game and be more attack minded.
  3. Chelsea are missing Jackson and Pochettino has said they might play without a striker. When I hear this, I hear that more will be required from the rest of the team. Chelsea’s defenders have averaged a high number of shots per 90 this season with:
    James 1.08; Gusto 0.64; Colwill 1.02; Silva 0.33; Disasi 1.0; Chilwell 1.79 (has been playing further forward)

Reese James and Disasi are priced at 18 and 19.0 and it is likely that Cucurella should be closer to that range.

So far, I have placed €15 at 100.0 but will reassess when team news is in.

Edit: Bet Review

Iwobi didn’t start but came on at 54 minutes and had two shots within 10 minutes, but failed to hit the target and had little impact after that. Nevertheless, a bet to follow this weekend.

The other bets never looked like coming in. To avoid.

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