The Blues’ development squad, who were almost relegated from the first division last season, contest a west London derby at Kingsmeadow on Monday evening looking to build further momentum following their 7-1 thrashing of Wolves.
Mark Robinson’s side ran riot in their opening fixture in Kidderminster last week, with braces from Harvey Vale, Dion Rankine and substitute Jayden Wareham plus a further effort from Alfie Gilchrist opening the 2022-23 campaign in some style in a match that also featured summer signings such as Omari Hutchinson and Eddie Beach.
The young Blues’ efforts against Fulham will be significantly boosted by the inclusion of several first-team players as Chelsea look to improve the fitness and get minutes under the belts of those who have not had much of a chance at senior level in the early stages of the new Premier League season.
Standard Sport understands that Carney Chukwuemeka, Ben Chilwell, Ethan Ampadu and Trevoh Chalobah have all been drafted in for tonight’s match.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was also set to play, but that is no longer expected to be the case after loan interest in his signature intensified over the past 24 hours. The winger is now ready to leave Stamford Bridge before the September 1 transfer deadline amid pursuits from Borussia Dortmund, Leicester and Southampton. He was an unused substitute for the fiery 2-2 derby draw against Tottenham on Sunday.
Highly-rated England Under-19 star Chukwuemeka, meanwhile, arrived from Aston Villa last month in a deal that could be worth £20million, but was not included in Thomas Tuchel’s first two matchday squads of the new campaign amid initial question marks over whether he would be an immediate first-team signing or one for the future.
Ampadu has not been in either of Tuchel’s squads thus far amid loan offers from Empoli and Spezia in Serie A, while Chalobah did not get off the bench against either Everton or Tottenham with increased competition in defence following the arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly, who scored the opener against Spurs.
Chilwell started and played 65 minutes on opening day on Merseyside, but was an unused sub against Tottenham with new signing Marc Cucurella handed his first start for Chelsea. The England wing-back is still being carefully managed after missing much of last season with a serious knee injury.