Crystal Palace host Chelsea at Selhurst Park on Saturday. The hosts have suffered a dip in form of late with just three points from their last five matches. The Blues have won their last four matches in all competitions and have a fine record against the Eagles. Across all competitions, Chelsea has won eight in a row against Palace. They have been winning at both half time and full time in five of their last seven matches at Selhurst Park.
Palace’s form has taken a dive of late. Having been on a run of one defeat in 11 Premier League matches (W3, D7, 18 goals scored), they are now on a streak of six defeats in 12. After a 3-0 loss at Spurs, they bounced back to beat Norwich 3-0 at home.
A five-match winless run has followed. They lost 3-2 at home to West Ham before conceding late to draw 1-1 at Brighton. A 3-1 home loss to Liverpool followed even though they played really well and drew several saves out of Alisson Becker. Palace then drew 1-1 at Norwich before a 0-0 home draw with Brentford.
Palace Team News
Palace has only a few issues ahead of this match. Conor Gallagher can’t face his parent club but Cheikhou Kouyate is available after his successful AFCON with Senegal and will start.
Patrick Vieira has plenty of attacking options and may consider recalling brilliant young winger Michael Olise down the right in preference to Jordan Ayew. Eberechi Eze may need to settle for a bench role though.
Palace is an attacking, open team under Vieira and will look to win this match. Expect a high-energy approach with lots of men getting into the box.
A draw would be a good result but Crystal Palace is not going to play for one from the start. They may only settle for a point quite late in this match, if at all.
Chelsea has had an inconsistent run of results despite just one loss in 17 in all competitions. In the league, the Blues have just one win in five as they drew 1-1 twice with Brighton (leading 1-0 in both matches), came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home with Liverpool and lost 1-0 at Man City. Their last league match was a 2-0 home win against Spurs.
Chelsea’s last three matches have all been in cup competitions. They needed extra time to beat Plymouth 2-1 at home in FA Cup before a 1-0 win against Al Hilal in the FIFA Club World Cup. Their last match required a very late Kai Havertz penalty to beat Palmeiras 2-1 in the final of the Club World Cup to lift their second trophy of the campaign.
Chelsea Team News
Thomas Tuchel remains without Ben Chilwell due to a long-term injury. Reece James is nearing a return but this match may come too early for him. Mason Mount will be absent due to a twisted ankle.
With Lille on the horizon, some rotation is possible. N’Golo Kante is unlikely to be risked ahead of that clash. Thiago Silva is another who could get a breather ahead of that one, with Andreas Christensen expected to start. On the left, it could be Malang Sarr if a back four is selected or it could be either Marcos Alonso or Callum Hudson-Odoi as a left wingback.
Whilst the side will have one eye on the Champions League, motivation and focus will be high for this one. Chelsea will look to win the match and would consider a draw to be a poor result.
The Blues only have a six-point lead over their top-four rivals and can’t afford to drop points.
Palace are winless in 5 PL matches (L2, D3)
Crystal Palace have lost their last 8 matches against Chelsea
There have been over 2.5 goals in Palace’s last 6 home PL games
Chelsea have 1 win in 5 PL matches (L1, D3)
Chelsea have won their last 4 matches (all comps)
Chelsea have won HT/FT in 5 of their last 7 trips to Crystal Palace
This match could have goals considering how exciting Palace has been under Vieira. Chelsea has a great record at Selhurst Park and should win a hard-fought clash.
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