CHELSEA v Crystal Palace: Preview

 

Date: Saturday 10th March 2018

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 17:30 GMT

 

 

After a shambolic display against Manchester City last week, where we offered less than nothing, it’s hard to know quite how to feel about today’s home game against Crystal Palace. On the one hand, they are awful and on the other, so are we. Where we may have put up a fight against Manchester United, when it came to their neighbours last week, we backed so far off them, we were on the coach home in spirit if not in body for the full 90 minutes.

So today, plenty will be tempted to think ‘Thank God it’s only Palace’ but the rest of us know better than that. Palace were every bit as bad at the start of the season as they are now but it didn’t stop us losing to them then and I wouldn’t put it past us to do it again. Chances are, we’ll underestimate them and they’ll over-estimate themselves and we’ll manage to make them look like Barcelona has come early!

 

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says “They [Palace] lost the last couple of games. They deserved more against Tottenham and against United. We must pay great attention. We need to have a good performance, to get three points. We’re playing against a really good team, with talented players.”

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson meanwhile, says “Normally when you come against a team not having the best of times, that can be a very dangerous time to play them. They have fantastic players and are a brilliantly run club, a powerful club. We can only hope that we can reproduce the recent performances against similar opponents, and give them as good a game as we did against Spurs and [Manchester] United.”

 

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, David Luiz, Ross Barkley and Ethan Ampadu are all out, although N’Golo Kante is available again. Tiemoue Bakayoko is also fit.

For Crystal Palace, Joel Ward, Scott Dann, Yohan Cabaye, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jason Puncheon, Bakary Sako, Connor Wickham and Julian Speroni are all out and Wilfried Zaha and Mamadou Sakho face late fitness tests. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is available again.

 

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen; Moses, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Morata

CRYSTAL PALACE (Possible line-up): Hennessey; Fosu-Mensah, Tomkins, Kelly; Wan-Bissaka, Riedewald, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp; Sorloth, Benteke

 

 

LAST MEETING

Chelsea 1- 2 Crystal Palace (1 April 2017)

 

 

RECENT FORM

CHELSEA: WLLWLL

CRYSTAL PALACE: LDDLLL

 

 

OTHER STUFF

~ Chelsea have lost their last two league games against Crystal Palace

~ Palace have won back-to-back league games at Stamford Bridge

~ Chelsea have won only four of their 15 competitive fixtures in 2018, with six draws and five losses.

~ Chelsea have lost four of their last five league games

~ Chelsea have won 12 and lost only one of their last 19 home league matches in all competitions.

~ Chelsea have kept five clean sheets in their last six Premier League fixtures at Stamford Bridge.

~ Chelsea are in danger of losing three successive top-flight home London derbies to the same opposition for the first time since 1974

~ Palace are on a six-game winless streak, drawing twice and losing the other four games, and have conceded 13 goals during this period.

~ After seven straight defeats Palace claimed their first win of this season with a 2-1 win against Chelsea in October.

~ Palace have scored in all of their last six away matches.

~ Palace have won two and lost seven of their last 12 Premier League away London derbies (both 2-1 wins at Stamford Bridge).

 

 

PREDICTIONS

BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace

Sky Sports: Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace

Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace

 


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