Opening Day Test For Palace With Visit To European Champions

The Premier League is back and it is a brave new world for Palace who head into the new campaign after a summer of transition. Newly appointed boss Patrick Vieira takes charge of the Eagles for his first competitive match against Chelsea in what will be a real baptism of fire.

DATE

14th August 2021

KICK OFF

3pm

VENUE

Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London SW6 1HS

LAST TIME

It was a game to forget in the last visit to Stamford Bridge for the Eagles back in October 2020. Second half goals from Ben Chilwell, Kurt Zouma and a brace from the spot from Jorginho saw off the challenge of the Eagles after a goalless first half.

WHO SCORED MAN OF THE MATCH – Ben Chilwell (9.2)

OFFICIALS

Referee – Jonathan Moss. Assistants – Marc Perry, Timothy Wood. Fourth official – James Linington. VAR – Kevin Friend. Assistant VAR – Harry Lennard.

TEAM NEWS

PALACE – Luka Milivojevic will miss out following the death of his father, Michael Olise is out with a back problem while Conor Gallagher is unable to play against his parent club.

CHELSEA – Hakim Ziyech is struggling with a shoulder injury while N’Golo Kante has a muscle issue. New signing Romelu Lukaku will not feature.

FORM GUIDE

Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;

  • 10/04/2021 Crystal Palace 1-4
  • 03/10/2020 Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace
  • 07/07/2020 Crystal Palace 2-3 Chelsea
  • 09/11/2019 Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace
  • 30/12/2018 Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea

Last FIVE results for Palace;

  • 07/08/2021 Crystal Palace 3-1 Watford
  • 31/07/2021 Reading 1-3 Crystal Palace
  • 27/07/2021 Crystal Palace 2-2 Charlton Athletic
  • 24/07/2021 Ipswich Town 0-1 Crystal Palace
  • 17/07/2021 Walsall 0-1 Crystal Palace

Last FIVE results for Chelsea;

  • 11/08/2021 Chelsea 1-1 Villareal
  • 04/08/2021 Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
  • 01/08/2021 Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
  • 27/07/2021 Bournemouth 1-2 Chelsea
  • 29/05/2021 Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea

RECORD AGAINST CHELSEA

  • Played 57
  • Won 11
  • Drawn 15
  • Lost 31

ONE TO WATCH

TIMO WERNER

FORMER CLUBS – TSV Steinhaldenfeld, VfB Stuttgart, RB Leipzig

The German international is closing in on 50 caps for his country but his bigger concern will be the return to Chelsea for Romelu Lukaku and he will be out to prove a point against Palace with the Belgian unlikely to feature.

KEY CLASH

JAMES MCARTHUR v MASON MOUNT

There is no doubting that the outcome of this match up will be heavily reliant on the midfield battle and it is no secret that Palace missed the Scottish Pirlo due to a lengthy spell on the sidelines last season. His energy and bite will be valued by new boss Vieira but he will have his work cut out against the likes of Mason Mount who returns to club duty after playing his part for England in the summer.

PRE-MATCH FACTS

  • Chelsea have won 18 of 24 Premier League meetings, including the last seven
  • Palace have lost their last 4 visits to Stamford Bridge, conceding 11 goals in total
  • Palace have kept a clean sheet in each of their last 3 season-opening league matches, winning twice
  • The Eagles lost 6 of their final 8 Premier League games last season, collecting the fewest points (6) of any side in that spell
  • Patrick Vieira did not lose a Premier League fixture against Chelsea as a player (W6, D4)
  • The last manager to win their first Premier League match in charge of Palace was Alan Pardew in January 2015
  • Christian Benteke could score in 5 consecutive top-flight appearances for the first time

OPPOSITION VIEW COURTESY OF JENNY BROWN

“On paper, Chelsea’s match against Palace should be a straight-forward one. Off the back of a solid pre-season and UEFA Super Cup win, the club will be brimming with confidence and have won each of the last seven meetings. However, this is quite literally a new-look Palace that could benefit from being an unknown quantity – lots of exciting young players led by Patrick Vieira. Chelsea have been coming out strong but fading in the second half. So if Palace can hold on until the break, they have a shot at springing a surprise in front of an (almost capacity) crowd at Stamford Bridge.”

PREDICTION

Maybe it is the long wait for club football to return along with renewed optimism that surrounds Selhurst Park at the moment but there is a feeling that the Eagles could take advantage of a few injuries to the European Champions in the opening game. Bold, yes, but why not? It’s about time we got something from this fixture, so why not now?

FINAL SCORE: 1-1

BETTING ODDS

  • Home – 2/9
  • Draw – 9/2
  • Away – 12/1
  • Both teams to score – 31/20

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