The first game of 'Derby Day' comes from West London as Chelsea take on Fulham. Tom Carnduff believes the value is in cards here.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Chelsea v Fulham (Stamford Bridge, 1200 GMT, Sky Sports Main Event)
Fulham started life under Claudio Ranieri in the best possible fashion with victory over Southampton at Craven Cottage, although the former Blues boss should expect to leave empty-handed from his latest return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chelsea were beaten for the first time this season away at Tottenham, but recovered from a dressing-down as a second-string side dispatched PAOK 4-0 in the Europa League to wrap up top spot in their group.
Manchester City could be 10 points clear of Maurizio Sarri's men by kick-off and nothing short of three here for the home side will do after their title aspirations took a hit.
A general price of 16/1 shows the uphill task that Fulham face in this West London derby, and the 10/11 on over 3.5 goals suggests we can expect a lot of entertainment.
The appointment of Craig Pawson should signal a game where we do see cards shown. He has shown at least six cards in four of his last five games, including a huge eight in Brazil's 1-0 win over Uruguay.
In likely one-sided games such as this, where there's scant value in the goalscorer markets, it's cards for us.
Score prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Fulham (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
I'd back Fulham to find the net giving the attacking talent they possess, but ultimately this should be a game Chelsea win with goals to spare. The Blues have conceded in four of their last six home games and that will give Fulham hope, although they have failed to keep a clean sheet in the league this season and their troubles in defence remain a big concern.
I spoke above about the refereeing appointment. The above three named players all sit in the top seven for fouls committed by Fulham players and should add to their tallies as they're expected to be on the back foot for the majority of the game. Fulham have been a side that have caught the attention of the officials throughout the season, seeing the seventh-highest number of yellow cards in the Premier League.
Goalscorer bet: Aleksandar Mitrovic to score anytime at 10/3
The Fulham forward is among the top scorers in the division with seven to his tally this season. Having backed him each-way at 100/1 before the season got under way, there's no point hiding the fact that I'm delighted by his form so far. I've already spoken about Chelsea's lack of clean sheets in recent weeks and that can see Mitrovic capitalise. He is the visitors' main attacking threat here.
- Chelsea have only lost one of their 26 Premier League matches against Fulham (W15 D10), a 0-1 defeat in March 2006.
- Fulham have won just one of their 24 away top-flight matches against Chelsea (D9 L14), a 2-1 victory in March 1964 under manager Bedford Jezzard.
- This is the first Premier League encounter between Chelsea and Fulham since March 2014, when current Fulham player Andre Schurrle scored a hat-trick for the Blues in a 3-1 win.
- Chelsea are winless in their last two Premier League games, last going three without a win back in September 2016 – after which they embarked on a 13 game winning streak en route to winning the Premier League title.
- Fulham have lost all three of their London derbies in the Premier League this season, by an aggregate score of 2-10. The last team to lose their first four such matches in a Premier League campaign were Crystal Palace in 2016-17 (5) who ended that run with victory at Chelsea.
- Chelsea haven’t lost two London derby matches on consecutive Premier League matchdays since October 2011, when they lost to QPR and Arsenal.
- No side has had more different goalscorers in the Premier League this season than Chelsea (11), while Fulham have had fewer than any other side (4).
- If Andre Schurrle scores for Fulham, he’ll be the fourth player to have scored for and against Chelsea in a specific Premier League London derby match, after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea vs Charlton), William Gallas (Chelsea vs Spurs) and Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea vs Arsenal).
- Managers who’ve previously managed Chelsea in the Premier League have never returned to Stamford Bridge and won in 13 attempts (D5 L8), with Claudio Ranieri managing two of those games (D1 L1).
- Aleksandr Mitrovic’s seven Premier League goals this season have earned Fulham seven points – only Glenn Murray’s goals (9 points) have been more valuable to his side.