Kante back, James to start, Predicted Chelsea lineup, (4-2-3-1) against Crystal Palace

Chelsea take on Crystal Palace this afternoon in a lunchtime (12.30pm) kick off at Stamford Bridge. The Blues will be hoping to climb into the top two, by registering their eighth premier league victory of the season.

Predicted Lineup

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Defence

Barring any last-minute changes, Kepa will start in goal as usual. The rest of the defence could see changes though. Fikayo Tomori, and Kurt Zouma are likely to continue as the centre-back pairing, after building up a strong partnership recently. Antonio Rudiger remains long-term injury casualty. Following Tuesday’s stunning 4-4 draw with Ajax, Frank Lampard could start with the back four The Blues finished the game with. That would mean Cesar Azpilicueta starting at left-back, and the impressive Reece James, starting on the right.

Midfield

Changes will be made due to Jorginho’s enforced absence. The Italian international was booked against Watford last weekend, his fifth of the campaign, ruling him out of today’s proceedings to serve a one-match ban

Injuries have been an issue this season. Yet again, Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains sidelined. It is also too soon for Ross Barkley to return, as Frank Lampard confirmed in yesterday’s pre-match press conference. There is also a question mark over Mason Mount who hobbled off in the eventful 4-4 draw with Ajax on Tuesday, although The Blues’ boss hopes he’ll be fit to face The Eagles.

On the plus side, N’Golo Kante is expected to return. Having missed large parts of the season, the Frenchman’s return will be welcomed by the Stamford Bridge faithful. With those factors in mind there’s every chance Chelsea will start with a holding midfield pair of the impressive Mateo Kovacic, and Kante. Mount if passed fit, would occupy the central attacking midfield role.

Wingers and Striker

Christian Pulisic will hope to continue his fine Premier League form by starting on the left-wing. The American has scored four goals in his last two appearances. On the opposite flank, an inform Willan, who was nominated for player of the month, is likely to get a start ahead of Pedro.

Tammy Abraham has been ever-present this season. The 20-year-old will expect an opportunity to add to his nine premier league goals this season.


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