Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: Premier League: Preview and Prediction
Chelsea host Crystal Palace this weekend in an early lunchtime kick-off at Stamford Bridge.
The hosts have endured a difficult couple of weeks, getting knockout out of the Carabao Cup by the hands of their London rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs.
The Blues languish in ninth position in the Premier League table after three games. Lampard could expect another difficult afternoon against Palace if they continue with their defensive errors.
Roy Hodgson’s men are already being touted as a dark horse this season for European places with their early season performances.
Palace will be heading into this game with a lot of confidence even though they suffered defeat in their last game against Everton courtesy of a controversial VAR penalty decision against Ward for handling the ball inside his team's penalty box.
Edouard Mendy is expected to make his premier league debut between the sticks ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga. Werner picked up a cramp in Chelsea’s Carabao Cup game against Spurs, but he is expected to recover in time for this game.
Ben Chilwell is expected to start ahead of Marcos Alonso at the left-back position with the latter being pulled out of the 3-3 draw against West Brom at half time.
Crystal Palace have their own defensive woes with the likes of Gary Cahill, James Tomkins, Scott Dan, Van Aanholt all on the treatment table.
Michy Batshuayi would also be a miss for Palace as he is unable to face his parent club. Jeffrey Schlupp should recover in time from a muscle strain that ruled him out of last weekend.
Chelsea probable XI: Mendy, R.James, Christensen, T.Silva, Chilwell, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Werner, Havertz, T. Abraham (Formation 4-2-3-1)
Crystal Palace probable XI: Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Sakho, Mitchell, McCarthy, McArthur, Townsend, Schlupp, Zaha, Ayew (Formation 4-4-2)
Head to Head Stats:
Chelsea have a 100% win record against Palace from their last 5 meetings in the premier league.
Last 5 Premier League games:
Chelsea wins: 5 Crystal Palace Wins: 0 Draw: 0
Reece James vs Wilfried Zaha
The Chelsea youngster can expect a tough afternoon at right-back as he faces the dynamic Wilfrid Zaha. James would require some assistance from his teammates to stop Zaha from entering the Chelsea penalty area from the left.
Zaha would be the main attacking threat for Palace and his performance would directly be proportional to what Palace can achieve from this game.
Tammy Abraham vs Cheikhou Kouyate
Abraham is expected to lead the line for Chelsea after his late tap-in earned Chelsea a point in the 3-3 draw at the Hawthorns last weekend. Kouyate has had an impressive start to the season and his tall physical prowess would be crucial for Palace to thwart the lanky Abraham.
Chelsea will have to fight hard to earn all three points against a resilient Crystal Palace side who have shown their giant-killing prowess by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford on the opening Gameweek. My prediction for this match would be a 1-1 draw.