Chelsea have upset the apple cart of world football once again with an absolutely outstanding, ridiculous, flabbergasting, historic January transfer window, which broke just about every January transfer window record, but now we have to turn our attentions back to the actual football, where things aren’t quite as outstanding.
We come into this game after a two-week break, and on a two-match unbeaten run, even, but we have a long way to go yet to recover from our midtable mediocrity.
Playing friendly neighbors Fulham is perhaps a perfect place to start that recovery. We lost to them just three weeks and three games ago, with the worst part of that defeat being that few were truly surprised at the outcome.
So, time to raise expectations and performance levels. The squad have gotten stronger, healthier, deeper during this mini-break, with Reece James expected to be fit to start and Ben Chilwell expected to be fit for at least the bench, in addition to all the new arrivals — including Enzo Ferández, who should be available as well. (No problems registering all our new arrivals for the Premier League, unlike for the Champions League were we can only add three.)
Those not available include Jorginho, who has gone to Arsenal, and maybe Hakim Ziyech, who’s in limbo after his loan to PSG didn’t go through. João Félix will be serving the final match of this ban and will miss out as well, alongside the still-injured bunch: Denis Zakaria, Wesley Fofana, Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kanté, Édouard Mendy, and Armando Broja. That’s still a long and important list, but we’ve get plenty of options.