How Fulham vs Chelsea has been the Premier League's most one-sided local derby

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Daniel Zeqiri
·2 min read
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Fulham's manager Scott Parker gives instructions to his players during the English Premier League soccer match - AP
Fulham's manager Scott Parker gives instructions to his players during the English Premier League soccer match - AP

As we approach the half-term report stage of the Premier League season, Scott Parker's Fulham are strong contenders for the most improved prize.

This column last month highlighted their competitive underlying numbers and the impressive combination of dribbling and tackling provided by midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, and a mid-week draw at Tottenham was further evidence of their development.

On Saturday they face Chelsea at Craven Cottage in a London derby that has been the most one-sided in Premier League history. Fulham have won just one of their last 28 league meetings with Chelsea, a win ratio of just 3.6 per cent. The second-worst win ratio in London derbies during the Premier League era is Fulham's record against Arsenal, with a return of just 10.3 per cent.

Fulham's only Premier League victory over Chelsea came in March 2006 when Jose Mourinho's team were well on their way to consecutive league titles, thanks to a Louis Boa Morte goal. Their struggles against their west London neighbours extend beyond 1992, with Fulham winning just three of 50 league matches against Chelsea in their history. Fulham's draw at Spurs stopped a run of 13 consecutive Premier League defeats in London derbies.

Regardless of their historic superiority, this is a crucial game for Chelsea and Frank Lampard after a run of just one win in six league games. According to most expected goals models, Chelsea still have the third-best attack in the division and their expected goals against total is lower than Liverpool's. They have struggled to respond to set-backs in recent weeks though, particularly in defeats against Arsenal and Manchester City in which they fell 3-0 down.

A positive from the 4-0 FA Cup win over Morecambe was Timo Werner finding the back of the net. Werner has failed to score in any of his last nine league games, his longest drought in top-flight football since 2016. Chelsea's summer signing has managed just seven shots on target in his last 663 minutes of league football.

Werner amassed 20 non-penalty xG last season in the Bundesliga, 0.64 per 90 minutes, scoring 28 goals including three penalties. His non-penalty xG has decreased to 0.43 with Chelsea, but even accounting for that drop off, a return of four league goals suggest he has been a touch unfortunate. Werner looks like a striker who will miss some sitters every season, but if he keeps sniffing out his chances at his current rate his goal tally should pick up.