Crystal Palace v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 14th October, 2017
Venue: Selhurst Park
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

So we’re finally back from the international break and it didn’t come without a cost. We were already missing Morata and looked toothless against City, now the internationals have cost us Kante as well. Conte doesn’t seem particularly keen on starting Michy Batshuayi in games but has had plenty of time to reflect on how worn out Hazard was in our last game, so he should bite the bullet for this one.
As for our opponents today, Palace are goalless after seven games and have Benteke out injured, so it probably goes without saying they’ll put in a Barcelona-esque performance this afternoon.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says “I am sure our players will be stirred for the game and we want to give our fans something to cheer about. Our situation is to try and get better. Attack better and defend better as a unit. It has been a good two weeks training but matches count.”
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte meanwhile, says “Kante is a big loss for us. You know the importance of him to our team – we don’t have a player with the same characteristic. We have [Cesc] Fabregas and [Tiemoue] Bakayoko and young players too. We must be ready to approach the next seven games using a different solution.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Palace, Christian Benteke remains out injured, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ineligible against us and Wayne Hennessey (calf) faces a late fitness test. Wilfried Zaha (knee) hopes to be involved for the first time since the opening day.
For Chelsea, Danny Drinkwater (calf) is still out. N’Golo Kante (hamstring) is another absentee through injury and Alvaro Morata (hamstring) isn’t ready for today’s game. David Luiz returns after serving a three-game ban.

TEAMS
CRYSTAL PALACE (Possible starting line-up): Hennessey; Ward, Sakho, Delaney, Van Aanholt; Cabaye, Milivojevic; Puncheon, Townsend, Zaha; Sako
CHELSEA (Possible starting line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Hazard; Batshuayi

LAST SEASON
Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea (17 December 2016)

RECENT FORM (PL)
CRYSTAL PALACE: LLLLLL
CHELSEA: WWWDWL

OTHER STUFF
~ Palace’s only home win in eight Premier League matches against Chelsea was in March 2014
~ Chelsea have won the last two meetings at Selhurst Park
~ Palace have won the last two meetings at Stamford Bridge.
~ Palace’s current goalless stretches to 630 minutes
~ Palace’s last league goal was scored against Hull on 14 May.
~ Defeat by Chelsea would establish another unwanted club league record of nine successive losses.
~ Palace have won only one of their last seven matches at Selhurst Park, losing five.
~ Chelsea have won eight of their last nine Premier League away matches
~ Chelsea have failed to score in two of their last three league matches, as many as in their previous 36 fixtures.
~ Chelsea’s record of 13 points from seven games is exactly the same as they had at this stage of their 2016-17 title-winning campaign.

PREDICTION
BBC Sport: Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea
Sky Sports: Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea
SportsMole: Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea

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