Chelsea in need of a boost for the top four hopes at home to Palace

Chelsea host Crystal Palace on Saturday desperately needing to pick up three points to boost their hopes of a top four finish.

The Blues are five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur heading into the weekend and their recent form in the Premier League has been poor.

Four defeats in five games has seen them slip out of the qualifying places for the Champions League and manager Antonio Conte will be eager to halt their slide.

Palace fell to a last-gasp 3-2 defeat at home to Manchester United last Monday having held a 2-0 lead and they remain in the relegation zone.

Roy Hodgson’s side have now gone six games without a league win, but they will take heart from the fact they beat Chelsea 2-1 at Selhurst Park back in October.

Chelsea are hopeful N’Golo Kante will be back in the squad after fainting last week, while Ross Barkley could also return after a thigh problem.

David Luiz (ankle), Tiemoue Bakayoko (calf) and Ethan Ampadu (thigh) are all out for the foreseeable future.

Palace could welcome back Yohan Cabaye (groin) and Joel Ward (muscle), while Timothy Fosu-Mensah is back in contention are being ineligible to face United.

Wilfried Zaha is still struggling with a knee problem, but Mamadou Sakho (calf), Jason Puncheon and Connor Wickham (both knee) remain on the sidelines.

Chelsea are priced at 1/3 to win the game, with Palace available at 9/1. The draw is on offer at 17/4.


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