Crystal Palace v CHELSEA: Preview








Venue: Selhurst Park
Date: Saturday, 18 October
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

This afternoon’s return to Premier League action sees us take the short trip to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace. A bit of a banana skin for us last season, with John Terry scoring an own goal in a 1-0 defeat, with today marking the 500th time he’s led us out, the captain will be hoping the boss is right about his side’s balls this time round.

Going into this afternoon’s game Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock is full of praise for Jose Mourinho, saying “I think he’s the nearest thing to Cloughie. He’s that type. He’s a player’s manager but he doesn’t keep the players in his pocket. He says it how it is. He always wants his teams to play well. Tactically, in difficult games, he’s always spot on.
Yes he upset a few people here and there, but his philosophy was very good. The Best. And I like Jose. I think he is the best there is – I always have done. He looks after his players. You don’t get anywhere without being a players’ manager. You only have to listen to people like John Terry and Frank Lampard and what they think about him. Didier Drogba coming back in. I just like the way he’s gone about it while he’s been in the game.
And I like it when he’s the underdog because he’s not always the favourite. He’s the underdog in some games. People are waiting to write him off because he gets the result. He’s always tactically astute. Jose talks about players going through brick walls for him and yet they’re not in his pockets. He says it how it is, his team always want to play well and tactically and when it comes to the tough games, I think he’s spot on.”
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho meanwhile, concentrates on football rather than the opposition manager, saying “Last season was a really poor performance. I was trying to win but I always felt we were closer to lose than win. They scored (an own goal by John Terry) and there was still a long time to play, but I still never felt the game was in our hands. We never had control. They [Palace] were expecting a very difficult match and they had a comfortable one.
I am not complacent, and I don’t let people be. I’m not the kind of guy who is driven to the moon after a fantastic result. But that game was one where we were not strong enough to play our game and not strong enough to cope with their game. They were better than us in their game – in the things they are good at, and we were not able to impose our best qualities. Hopefully we can do that better.
I think we have balls now. We have more personality to impose our game. We cannot say now we’ll have, again, a very good season against the top five. But I don’t want our results against the bottom half of the table to be as negative as last season. So we have to try and improve. Against Everton we lost three points last season, but we won three points there this season. But last season we won at City and only drew there this year. Palace away is the kind of ‘easy’ game for me to analyse, easy in the sense I know clearly why I lost last season. If I know, the players know. We have to try not to repeat the same bad performance we had last season.’’

For Palace, Scott Dann (knee) is ruled out but Neil Warnock otherwise has a fully fit squad to select from.
For Chelsea, Ramires (groin) and Didier Drogba (ankle) are doubtful whilst both Andre Schurrle (illness) and John Obi Mikel (undisclosed) face late checks. Diego Costa (hamstring) is also a doubt.

CRYSTAL PALACE (Possible line-up): Julian Speroni, Martin Kelly, Brede Hangeland Damian Delaney, Joel Ward, James McArthur, Mile Jedinak, Joe Ledley, Wilfried Zaha, Frazier Campbell, Jason Puncheon
CHELSEA Possible line-up (4-2-3-1): Thibaut Courtois, Branislov Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa.

Crystal Palace 1-0 Chelsea (29th March 2014)

• Palace are five points better off than at this stage of last season
• Palace have scored five of their 10 league goals from set-pieces
• It is 218 minutes since Palace conceded at Selhurst Park
• Chelsea have scored 21 goals at an average of three per game so far this season
• Chelsea are unbeaten in 14 of their last 15 league London derbies, with their only loss coming at Palace last season
• Crystal Palace’s 1-0 at Selhurst Park last season ended a 12-match winless run against Chelsea in the league

Only the Chelsea team of 2005-06, who won all of their opening seven matches, have accrued more points than the current side at this stage of a Premier League season, so things have gone well for us so far. Mind you, Palace are also doing better so far and we know what happened at Selhurst last time……….So, today’s game may well depend on what Costa serves us up!


One Response to “Crystal Palace v CHELSEA: Preview”

  1. It’s better for Jose to rest Costa to recover than to risk him in today’s match..