Premier League Preview – Chelsea
With Palace needing to pick up points sooner rather than later, it is not the ideal time to have to trek across London to the home of the outgoing Premier League champions.
Having said that, the Bridge has been a happy hunting ground for the Eagles in recent seasons with a hat-trick of away wins against the Blues and a first double of the season on the line.
Plenty may scoff at the suggestion, but the last two wins for Palace against Chelsea have come at low points in seasons which were proved to be catalysts to results that followed. There are particular fond memories of the first win of this season that came against Chelsea at Selhurst Park in October shortly after Roy Hodgson took over.
Palace have not won a game in six attempts in a run of form they can ill afford at this stage of the season. Meanwhile, Chelsea have faced a crisis of confidence having not won in the Premier League since beating West Bromwich Albion in mid-February. However, they did manage an impressive home draw against Barcelona in the Champions League so they will likely have one eye on the second leg at the Nou Camp which takes place after this fixture with Palace.
With Roy Hodgson still battling to free the squad of a lengthy injury list, there are signs of hope following the return of Martin Kelly and Jeffrey Schlupp in the home defeat to United with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mamadou Sakho and Wilfried Zaha to follow shortly.
In their absence, the fight that was shown against United and Spurs will be invaluable and must continue as we head into the business end of the season.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Yohan Cabaye (abductor) and Joel Ward (groin) both face a late fitness tests. Mamadou Sakho (calf), Wilfried Zaha (knee), Julian Speroni (knee), Jason Puncheon (knee), Scott Dann (knee), Bakary Sako (ankle), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (ankle) or Connor Wickham (knee) will feature.
CHELSEA – N’Golo Kante (illness) and Ross Barkley (hamstring) are doubts while Ethan Ampadu (hamstring), Tiemoue Bakayoko (calf) or David Luiz (ankle) will not feature.
The last match up between these two sides at Stamford Bridge was back in April 2017 when the Eagles travelled across London in a similar position of needing points. The early signs were ominous as the Blues took a very early lead through Cesc Fabregas but Palace were level within minutes courtesy of Wilfried Zaha. The visitors quickly followed that up just two minutes later by going into the lead after an excellent move ended in a goal for Christian Benteke which proved to be the winner.
Who Scored man of the match – Wilfried Zaha (8.8)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 14/10/2018 Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea
- 01/04/2017 Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 17/12/2016 Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea
- 03/01/2016 Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea
- 29/08/2015 Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 05/03/2018 Crystal Palace 2-3 Manchester United
- 25/02/2018 Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- 10/02/2018 Everton 3-1 Crystal Palace
- 04/02/2018 Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United
- 30/01/2018 West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Chelsea;
- 04/03/2018 Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea
- 25/02/2018 Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea
- 20/02/2018 Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona
- 16/02/2018 Chelsea 4-0 Hull City
- 12/02/2018 Chelsea 3-0 West Bromwich Albion
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Eden Hazard 7.77
- N’Golo Kante 7.25
- Wilfried Zaha 7.17
- James Tomkins 7.15
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Crystal Palace, Wigan Athletic, Chelsea, Liverpool (loan), Stoke City (loan), West Ham United (loan)
The former Palace academy product began his career in South London back in 2001 before making his first team debut against Cardiff City in 2007 as a sixteen year old. After over fifty appearances for the club, a sale was forced through because of administration and Moses found himself at Wigan Athletic where he made over seventy appearances. Chelsea came calling in 2010 where he has made over seventy appearances to date and also spent time on loan at Liverpool, Stoke and West Ham.
Moses appeared for England at youth level but pledged his future to the country of his birth, Nigeria. He made his debut in 2012 and has gone on to win almost thirty caps.
Final league position – 5th
The West London club look destined to finish outside the top four this season with continued erratic results in the Premier League, particularly in recent weeks. A lot will depend on the progress in Europe both Chelsea and the teams ahead of them but the regular approach by Antonio Conte to not start games with a recognised striker is both frustrating for fans as well as hindering their chances of pressing for a top four finish.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Who Scored prediction – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 1/4
- Draw – 9/2
- Away – 9/1
- Both teams to score – 11/10