Football Tips: Kai’s our guy in this 12/1 Bet Builder for Chelsea v Fulham

Out tipster Andrew Beasley offers up a belting Bet Builder for Chelsea v Fulham on Saturday evening.

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

The early evening kick-off on Saturday sees a west London derby in which both teams will be fixated upon finishing fourth. Except that for Chelsea it’s a Champions League qualification place at stake, while Fulham are clinging onto the hope that they can end the 2020/21 season fourth bottom in order to retain their place among the elite.

Well, not the European Super League elite, obviously, but you know what I mean. Paddy thinks the Blues are the far more likely of the two sides to achieve their goal, and understandably so.

Scott Parker’s side go into the weekend seven points adrift of safety with only 15 left to play for. Their matches with Burnley, Southampton and Newcastle don’t look too daunting, but even if they were to win that trio of fixtures they will likely also need something from their games against Chelsea and Manchester United.

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Handicap betting: Chelsea (-1)

Fulham’s record at Stamford Bridge does not inspire confidence that they can get anything though. In 41 visits to play their near-neighbours on their own patch, the Cottagers have headed home with a win on just two occasions, in 1964 and 1979. Unless another Mod revival is launched this week, it’s hard to see them adding to their meagre collection of victories.

If there is one thing in their favour, it’s that for Chelsea this match is sandwiched between two titanic tussles with Real Madrid. The Blues can be very satisfied with their score draw in Spain, even if they should really have won on the balance of play.

Saturday 5.30pm: Chelsea v Fulham
Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League

But history shows how hard it is for Premier League teams to succeed in the match which falls between the two legs of a Champions League semi-final. In the previous 10 seasons there were seven instances of an English side reaching the last four, and they collectively won just two of the weekend matches which occurred between the two European engagements.

But some of those sides didn’t have too much to play for whereas Chelsea need the three points here to keep the chasing pack at bay, especially as they have still to face Manchester City, Arsenal and Leicester. They should be able to win this derby by a couple so take the Chelsea (-1) handicap bet to boost the odds.

Both teams to score: No

Part of the reason it’s hard to make a firm case for an away win is that Fulham have struggled to score goals against the wantaway ESL teams. Parker’s side have netted just five times in their 10 matches against the established big six clubs – only Burnley and, er, Chelsea have scored fewer in 2020/21 – and just two of those goals came in open play.

Ignore the bizarre fever dream that was West Bromwich Albion’s 5-2 win at the Bridge and the Blues have kept a clean sheet in all of their home league matches under Thomas Tuchel. This game should prove to be another shutout for the new Chelsea boss and Both Teams To Score? No.

Under 2.5 goals

However, this match is unlikely to be a rout either. Chelsea won the reverse fixture 1-0 and a repeat result would not be a surprise. Fulham have conceded the same number of goals against the Big Six as Tottenham have this season, and only three sides from the ‘Other 14’ have let in fewer.

If we exclude the Whites’ 3-0 loss to Manchester City in March for argument’s sake, then they have conceded more than once in only one of their last seven matches against the Premier League’s self-appointed high and mighty clubs. Fulham are also bottom of the league for matches which have featured at least three goals in 2020/21, so with Chelsea looking to win with the minimum fuss, this should be another match which pays out on Under 2.5 Goals.

Kai Havertz to score anytime

At the previous stage of the Champions League, Tuchel didn’t rotate his front three much for the two games with Porto and the clash at Selhurst Park which separated them. Kai Havertz and Mason Mount started all three games, with Christian Pulisic in the XI for two of them.

It was Werner and Pulisic at the front of a 3-5-2 formation in Madrid on Tuesday, so does that offer us any clues with an eye on the goal scorer markets here? Probably not. But if Kai Havertz gets the nod to start then he’s a good tip here.

Across the last four Premier League match weeks he is the only player to have had at least four clear-cut chances and miss the lot. Both of his league goals for the Blues have come against sides in the bottom eight of the table, so he is both due to score and better when facing struggling teams. It all points towards Havertz Scoring Anytime here, doesn’t it?

Bet Builder for Chelsea v Fulham

Chelsea (-1)
Both Teams To Score? No
Under 2.5 Goals
Kai Havertz to Score Anytime

These four selections on a Bet Builder will give you odds of 12/1 with Paddy Power.

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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