Chelsea Travel Across the Thames for an Early Kick-Off at Selhurst Park
Last updated: December 15, 2016 by Leon Marshal
|Coverage:||Sky Sports 1|
|Last season:||Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Chelsea|
|Competition:||The Premier League|
With last weekend’s away victory over Sunderland marking their 10th on the bounce and increasing pressure building in the Crystal Palace camp, Chelsea will be traveling to Selhurst Park on Saturday morning full of confidence. The hosts are currently sitting just three points above the relegation zone and have only recorded one victory in their last ten outings in the Premier League. Despite his side’s poor form, Palace manager Alan Pardew, recently stated that he’s confident over his future at the club. However, with what is likely to be his sternest test of the season and a number of tricky results coming up over the festive period, there can be no denying he is in desperate need of a result.
It can be said that Palace were a little hard done by in their 2-1 home defeat to United last weekend as the visitors’ first goal through Paul Pogba was scored from an offside position. The Eagles then came back and fought hard in the second half, clearly inspired by Joe Ledley’s introduction. In the end though, it was a brief slip-up in defence that cost them, which unfortunately for Pardew pretty much sums up his side’s season up to now. They haven’t struggled for goals, and at times they’ve played some very good football; however, continual lapses in concentration has meant that they’ve conceded far too many goals at the set piece, and a clear lack of determination when it comes to the crunch has meant that they’ve found themselves down near the bottom of the table after having played 16 games.
Chelsea’s narrow 1-0 victory over Sunderland earlier in the week has seen a bit of daylight open up between them and second-place Liverpool. They were forced to work hard for every inch against a determined and well set-up Sunderland side that showed there’s still plenty of fight left in them yet. A win against Crystal Palace would make it the 11th consecutive victory for the Blues. Of course a win by any margin will help Chelsea’s cause, however Conte expressed earlier this week that he would like to see his side be more clinical and make the most of their chances. This weekend’s fixture presents them with the perfect opportunity.
Crystal Palace have some serious injury problems ahead of this weekend’s home fixture. They currently have 6 players out injured – among them summer signing Steve Mandanda – and a further 2 (Sako and Tomkins) who are looking doubtful at the moment.
Palace forward Connor Wickham has undergone surgery on his ACL. It is not yet known exactly when he will return, but he has already been ruled out of Alan Pardew’s side for the remainder of the season.
There is still some doubt whether Hazard will be fit enough to feature in Saturday’s match up. The Belgian midfielder is still carrying a knock he picked up in the later stages of last weekend’s 1-0 victory over West Brom.
Oscar Junior may also not be well enough to feature at Selhurst Park. A winter illness may prevent the Brazilian international from making the journey to South London for the early afternoon kick-off.
|Crystal Palace (4-4-2):||Hennessey, Ward, Delaney, Kelly, Dann, Lee, Flamini, McArthur, Cabaye, Benteke, Zaha|
|Subs:||Speroni, Fryers, Wan-Bissaka, Husin, Ledley, Townsend, Campbell|
|Injured:||Wickham, Remy, Mandanda, S. Benteke, Boateng, Souare|
|Chelsea (4-3-4):||Courtois, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Fabregas, Kante, Moses, Pedro, Willian, Costa|
|Subs:||Begovic, Zouma, Ivanovic, Chalobah, Loftus-Cheek, Matic, Batshuayi|
So far this season
|Crystal Palace this season||Chelsea this season|
|2 (2)||(at home) Wins (away)||7 (6)|
|4-1 vs. Stoke City||Biggest win||5-0 vs. Everton|
|1 (2)||(at home) Draws (away)||0 (1)|
|5-4 vs. Swansea||Biggest Defeat||3-0 vs. Arsenal||Christian Benteke (8)||Top scorer||Diego Costa (12)|
|Wilfried Zaha (6)||Assist Leader||Diego Costa (5)|
|Y36, R0||Discipline||Y35, R0|
|3||Failures to score||1|
|11||Both Teams to Score Games||6|
|11||Over 2.5 Games||11|
|5||Under 2.5 Games||5|
- Despite currently sitting in 16th position in the league, Crystal Palace have managed to score an impressive number of goals already this season. They are the team with the 5th most number of goals from 16 games.
- Chelsea have become the team to beat in the domestic league. Results over the last few weeks means that there’s now a bit of daylight between them and 2nd place Liverpool. The Blues are now 6 points clear with 13 victories from 16 fixtures.
- Crystal Palace suffered their biggest defeat of the season earlier this month in a 9-goal away thriller against Swansea. It is the game that has produced the highest number of goals in this year’s campaign.
- Chelsea have scored the third highest number of goals in the League. They’ve managed 34 in all games – 6 less than top scorers Liverpool – and are also the team with the most number of clean sheets.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|03/01/2016||Premier League||Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Chelsea||Oscar 29′|
|29/08/2015||Premier League||Chelsea 1 – 2 Crystal Palace||B.Sako 65′|
|03/05/2015||Premier League||Chelsea 1 – 0 Crystal Palace||E. Hazard 45′|
|18/10/2014||Premier League||Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Chelsea||Oscar 6′|
|29/03/2014||Premier League||Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Chelsea||Terry (og) 52′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
The bookmakers have all piped Chelsea as clear favourites to win this one; there aren’t too many football fans out there that would argue with the prediction. The Blues just look too good at the moment, and Crystal Palace have neither the form, nor the personnel to deal with the attacking threat Chelsea pose through the likes of Costa Willian and Pedro. We predict a comfortable win for the away side by a margin of two goals. Head over to BetVictor now for some top-quality odds prices.