Chelsea v Fulham: Premier League – live!

Chelsea (4-3-3 implacabilmente): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, David Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic; Pedro, Giroud, Hazard. Subs: Caballeto, Christensen, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Morata.

Fulham (4-2-3-1 sperimentale): Sergio Rico; Christie, Odoi, Mawson, Le Marchand; Chambers, Seri; Johansen, Cairney, Sessegnon; Mitrovic. Subs: Bettinelli, Ream, Bryan, Cisse, Kebano, Ayite, Kamara.

Football derbies run a strange gamut – no great surprise, given that football is strange on account of people being strange. You have derbies that were never derbies that people have started calling derbies like Liverpool v Manchester United, derbies that aren’t derbies that are apparently derbies like the Fordshire derby between Luton and Watford, derbies that are derbies that aren’t really derbies like Arsenal v Charlton, and local derbies that are absolutely derbies but, well, y’know, like Chelsea v Fulham.

In terms of geography, there is very little to match this little tussle. The respective grounds are just 1.4 miles, or a Morata or Mitrovic finish away – only the Merseyside and Nottingham clubs are closer. But though proximity usually breeds animosity, it is not quite so in this case. Which is not to say these teams like each other, just that they haven’t played each other that often – eight times in the 70s, seven times in the 80 and not at all after 1985, and not at all the 90s. That leaves a lot of catching up to do, especially given the number of other rivalries Chelsea nurtured in the meantime and, let’s be real, the genteel nature of Craven Cottage in particular. (I was once chased up the road outside there, but that probably says more about me than it).

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via Football | The Guardian