Chelsea Preview vs Crystal Palace

Stamford Bridge hosts Crystal Palace on Sunday when the Eagles will look to be the first side this season to beat Maurizio Sarri’s Blues.

Chelsea obliterated a disappointing Burnley last week without the in-form Eden Hazard and are growing in confidence week-on-week.

In contrast, Palace managed to draw against Arsenal, and were perhaps the better team during the match, but only managed to score from the penalty spot.

Roy Hodgson will find previous meetings comforting as his team has won two of the last three meetings both in general and as visitors to the Bridge.

The hope for Chelsea is that in the last meeting, they were 2-1 victors.

Both sides have three first team players who may not be fit for the match at the weekend. For Palace, Christian Benteke, Scott Dann and Joel Ward will certainly all be unavailable.

For Chelsea, Pedro and Olivier Giroud are major doubts for Chelsea’s midweek Carabao Cup game away to Derby County, and Eden Hazard will play no part, but it is expected that all three should be available for selection for Sunday’s match.

The home side are naturally the favourites at 2/7 as they sit in 3rd, 11 places above their weekend opponents, with three times the points tally of the Eagles. Palace to secure victory is 9/1 and a draw is 9/2.

Chelsea also defeated Frank Lampard’s Derby County side midweek with a hugely rotated side, and confidence should be high amongst the whole squad.

CHELSEA PREDICTED LINE-UP 4-3-3

Arrizabalaga

Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rudiger, Marcos Alonso

Kante, Barkley, Jorginho

Willian, Morata, Hazard

Ross Barkley has been in imperious form recently, and although he is not at his best, Alvaro Morata has finally realised where the net is.

The only change Chelsea would be likely to make would be to reinstate Eden Hazard following his injury, but Chelsea played so well against Burnley last week that Sarri may not want to change anything at all.

CRYSTAL PALACE PREDICTED LINE-UP 4-3-2-1

Hennessy

Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt

McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate

Townsend, Zaha,

Ayew

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was brilliant last week and has been all season, but will have a real test marking either Eden Hazard or Willian.

The danger man is obviously Wilfied Zaha. The winger has the ability to win a match regardless of opposition and will have to be dealt with correctly.

The weak point for Palace has to be the striker position. With Benteke injured until the new year, Jordan Ayew was tasked with leading the line against Arsenal, and to be frank he has awful.

He never looked comfortable either moving forward or holding the ball up and made numerous fouls. The other option would be Alexander Sorloth, who just has no experience at Premier League level.

Therefore maybe an extra player could be tasked with looking after Zaha, but even then it may not be easy.

The match should be a Chelsea victory, but the Blues will slip up eventually, and at this point, every match is just banana skin after banana skin.

Despite this, I still have faith and love how the team are playing, and will go for a confident if not perfect 2-0 Chelsea victory.

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