CHELSEA v Crystal Palace: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Saturday, 14 December

Kick-off: 15.00 GMT

There was plenty of sulking and finger-pointing after last week’s defeat away at Stoke so we’d better have our act back together again for today’s home game against Crystal Palace or bottom-lips will definitely be a trip hazard on the way out of Stamford Bridge this afternoon.

To be fair, some of the grumbles are justified, we have as much penetration up front as them male tadpole things headbutting a chastity belt and as for our defence, it’s as watertight as the majority of Suarez’s for his last couple of misdemeanours.

Jose Mourinho is aware of our frailties though, having lost 6 from 24 games already this season and from what he’s said in the past week, losing sits no easier with him now than it ever has.

For Tony Pulis meanwhile, his new role as Palace boss seems to be going well with 3 wins from their last 4 games and 4 clean sheets in their last 5. So he’ll start the game the more positive of the two managers.


 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into this afternoon’s game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says of our opponents “They’ve been fantastic.  Six points in two matches, they were bottom of the league and suddenly they are there, now they smell all the others and they are in contact with the other teams fighting relegation.  Do they play beautiful football? That’s another question. Do they try to play a certain style? That’s another question, but the main question for them is to stay in the Premier League.  They need points, they are playing for points and they are going to give us a difficult match in their style.”

Palace manager Tony Pulis returns the compliments, saying “I think it’s absolutely amazing that people are criticising Chelsea. They’re third in the Premier League, they’ve just won their group in Europe and they’re in the quarter-finals of the League Cup. They’re having a stinker, aren’t they?  They’re not doing too bad from where I’m looking. I expect them to be a lot stronger in the second half of the season.

We’ve had 10 points out of five games, a real good run, the confidence is high, they [the players] are enjoying the football at the moment.  [But] there’s a massive gulf between what Chelsea have got and what this club have got.  It’s always difficult going away and playing the top, top sides in this league. You need them to be off form, you need to be right on top of it and you need some breaks as well.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, Jose Mourinho almost has a full strength squad with the exception of Marco van Ginkel (knee).  Gary Cahill (thigh) will also not be risked and it sounds as if Ashley Cole will get a rest on the bench this afternoon as well.

For Palace, Jack Hunt (foot), Glenn Murray (knee), Jerome Thomas (ankle), Adlene Guedioura (ribs) and Paddy McCarthy (groin) are all out., Moxey (hamstring) is doubtful although Yannick Bolasie returns from suspension.

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Lampard; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Torres

PALACE (Possible): Speroni; Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey; Puncheon, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Bannan; Chamakh, Jerome

 

LAST SEASON

N/A

 

PREDICTION

We’re unbeaten in our last 11 league and cup games against Palace at Stamford Bridge and we’ve gone 16 Premier League games without defeat at Stamford Bridge, where we remain unbeaten in all 67 league matches under Mourinho (W52, D15) but then we saw how easily stats can be overturned last weekend. On the bright side though, we’ve only kept one clean sheet in our last 10 league games and have conceded three goals in consecutive league fixtures for the first time since October 1999.  In fact, 30 points from 15 games represents Jose Mourinho’s worst return at a leading European club.

Palace meanwhile, whilst not exactly frightening defences, have conceded only one goal in their last five league games and have earned nine points from the last 12 available in the Premier League (7 more than current champions)! 

We shouldn’t expect a walk in the park today.

One Response to “CHELSEA v Crystal Palace: Preview”

  1. Jose’s to blame for our lack of goals in attack, in trying so hard to sign rooney he took his eye of the ball, then sign’s a 32 year old has been, a striker in jan is a must, if not then he might not see the season out,