Premier League Preview – Chelsea
Palace see out the year in front of the live television cameras at Selhurst Park against one of the top sides in the country, much like 2017.
This time last year it was City heading to South London and they returned with less than most had anticipated, not least themselves. After seven points from the last three games, the Eagles will be keen on ending 2018 on a high with a point or three.
The Blues make the short trek across London in similar form, six points from their last three games when many had expected them to take the full compliment from the run of fixtures they have just been through.
Boss Maurizio Sarri has seen his side hit a bump in the road after an impressive start to life in the Premier League and it will be interesting to see how active he is in the January transfer window as they bid for a top four finish.
Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson will have been pleased with Palace’s recent good form even if it could have been better had his players found the net with the many chances created against Cardiff. However, a successful run out for striker Connor Wickham will have provided a welcome boost as a different option to what has been available over the last few months.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Martin Kelly (groin) is a major doubt while Wayne Hennessey (back) has a chance of being available. Christian Beneteke (knee) continues to miss out.
CHELSEA – Pedro (hamstring), Callum Hudson-Odoi (hamstring), Marco van Ginkel (knee) and Andreas Christensen (hamstring) are all unavailable. Alvaro Morata (knee) is a slight doubt.
The last time these two sides met was at Stamford Bridge at the beginning of November. Spanish midfielder Pedro got the hosts off and running just after the half hour mark but Andros Townsend replied for the Eagles just after the break. Alvaro Morata gave the Blues the lead for a second time with a little under half an hour to play and Pedro grabbed his second, Chelsea’s third, to seal the points shortly after.
Who Scored man of the match – Pedro (9.2)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 04/11/2018 Chelsea 3-1 Crystal Palace
- 10/03/2018 Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace
- 14/10/2017 Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea
- 01/04/2017 Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 17/12/2016 Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 26/12/2018 Crystal Palace 0-0 Cardiff City
- 22/12/2018 Manchester City 2-3 Crystal Palace
- 15/12/2018 Crystal Palace 1-0 Leicester City
- 08/12/2018 West Ham United 3-2 Crystal Palace
- 04/12/2018 Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Chelsea;
- 26/12/2018 Watford 1-2 Chelsea
- 22/12/2018 Chelsea 0-1 Leicester City
- 19/12/2018 Chelsea 1-0 Bournemouth
- 16/12/2018 Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Chelsea
- 13/12/2018 Vidi 2-2 Chelsea
THE RECORD AGAINST CHELSEA
- Played 52
- Won 11
- Drawn 15
- Lost 26
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Eden Hazard 7.96
- Aaron Wan-Bissaka 7.26
- Willian 7.21
- Luka Milivojevic 7.11
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Froges, Grenoble, Istres (loan), Tours, Montpellier, Arsenal
The 32 year old striker made his name at Montpellier where he scored 33 goals in 73 games for the French side who he joined in 2010 after a successful couple of years at Tours. Arsenal paid £9.6million for the French international in 2012 and he went on to score over 70 goals for the North London club in just shy of 200 appearances. The move to Chelsea in January was for an undisclosed fee after not being guaranteed first team football at Arsenal. Giroud made his first appearance from France in 2011 and has 87 caps to his name to date, scoring 33 goals.
It is difficult to know which Palace side will turn up for this one having seen off the champions on their own patch and followed that up with the struggle to get past a dogged Cardiff side. However, Chelsea will likely be a better opponent for the Eagles to face as they will not just sit back which will suit the hosts style of play better. It will be a tough London derby to see out the year but a point here is a real prospect so TEB will go for a 1-1 draw.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Chelsea Enthusiast prediction (see link below) – away win
- Who Scored prediction – away win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 4/1
- Draw – 13/5
- Away – 4/6
- Both teams to score – 3/4