Crystal Palace v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Sunday 30th December 2018

Venue: Selhurst Park

Kick-off: 12:00 GMT



There’s probably worse fixtures we could have in the middle of the Christmas period than the short trip to Selhurst Park but there’s also probably better times to play Crystal Palace than when they’ve hit the form they seem to have lately.

In their last three games Palace have beaten Leicester and Manchester City and drawn against Cardiff in a game they were unlucky to take only a point from. They’re also pretty tight defensively and whilst they’ve struggled in London derbies, they did beat us in this fixture last season.

Chelsea meanwhile, come into this game with three wins in our last four games and will be looking to win three consecutive Premier League away games for the first time under Maurizio Sarri. The fact that we haven’t managed it so far, is largely down to our players appearing to go through the motions without putting in too much effort. A bit like Christmas presents from the in-laws, they can surprise us but not necessarily in a good way. So, in spite of ourselves, we start out expectantly but as the shiny stuff starts to unfold, realisation dawns, and it’s a bit of a let-down. Like fitted sheets or something equally as practical, they have their uses but they’re not exactly going to excite anyone or win any prizes for originality.

Palace won’t be standing back to admire the wrapping paper today though and will absolutely open us up when they get the chance. What they uncover will determine whether Chelsea’s 2018 goes out with a whimper or a bang!



Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says “We never fear any game, we don’t go in there thinking we don’t have much chance. But you know you’re playing a good quality team, you’re more fearful of players they have that can hurt you if you make mistakes or don’t do your job to restrict them.”

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri meanwhile, focuses on Eden Hazard, saying I cannot see the problem of Hazard in this role, he played four matches as false number nine, and he scored three goals and two assists. I am really very happy with him in this position because he’s very able to score, first of all, but he’s very able to open spaces for the team-mates, to come and play with the team-mates. So at the moment I am very happy with him in this position, but in the future he can also play as a winger of course.



For Crystal Palace, Christian Benteke remains out but both Martin Kelly (groin) and Wayne Hennessy (back) return and Cheikhou Kouyate is also back in contention.

For Chelsea, both Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi miss out having picked up hamstring injuries on Boxing Day.



CRYSTAL PALACE (Possible line-up): Guaita; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt; McArthur, Kouyate, Miivojevic, Meyer; Townsend, Zaha

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Loftus-Cheek, Hazard, Willian



Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea (14th October 2017)







  • Crystal Palace have won two of the last four league meetings.
  • Chelsea lost to Palace in this fixture last season.
  • Palace are unbeaten in three matches.
  • Palace are on a run of three consecutive top-flight home clean sheets
  • Crystal Palace have not won their final league match of a calendar year since 2011.
  • Palace have won only two of their past 14 Premier League London derbies at home.
  • Chelsea’s win at Watford was only a fourth in eight matches.
  • Chelsea have not lost their final league fixture of a calendar year when it has been away from home since 2002.
  • Chelsea are winless in five Premier League away London derbies.



BBC Sport: Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea

Sky Sports: Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea

Sportsmole: Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea



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