Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Preview: Can either bounce back from tough defeats?

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Preview: Can either bounce back from tough defeats?

A London derby with plenty at stake for both sides at either end of the table.

Harry Harris

Saturday's London derby at Selhurst Park will have serious implications at both ends of the Premier League table, as both Crystal Palace and Chelsea desperately are in need of points.

The hosts currently sit in the relegation zone but a victory on Saturday could propel them out of the drop zone and give them a little bit more hope of stay up. On the other hand, Chelsea are fifth in the table and are on the outside looking in when it comes to Champions League places for next season. Antonio Conte's men need a near-perfect run of form to end the season to have a chance at a top four finish.

This fixture has showcased a plethora of drama in recent memory, which makes Saturday's meeting all the more enticing.

Team News

Crystal Palace: After going 2-0 up against Manchester United on Monday, Roy Hodgson's side then conceded three in a row to drop a golden opportunity to get out of the relegation zone. Saturday's derby now becomes even more important and Hodgson may be able to welcome back some big names.

Wilfried Zaha is set for a return to the team after missing time with a knee injury. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is close to a return, but will miss out due to ineligibility because of his loan move from Chelsea. Yohan Cabaye and Joel Ward are doubts for Saturday's game, but could make their returns within the next week, while Julian Speroni and Mamadou Sakho remain sidelined.

Projected XI: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Tomkins, van Aanholt; Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha; Benteke, Sorloth.

Chelsea: Antonio Conte's men were labelled by some as a "disgrace to football" after last week's dismal performance against Manchester City. With top four hopes slipping away, it's crucial the Blues bounce back immediately with a result on Saturday.

N'Golo Kante will return to the squad after missing last week due to illness, sending a slight scare through the Chelsea camp. Tiemoue Bakayoko could return from his calf problem, but he'll have to pass a late fitness test. David Luiz, Ethan Ampadu and Ross Barkley are all expected to miss out, but the latter may be back sooner than his counterparts.

Projected XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Emerson; Hazard, Morata, Willian.













Crystal Palace sit just one point off of safety, but will be up against all the odds on Saturday against a Chelsea side also in need of points. A win could take Roy Hodgson's side as high as 13th in the table, but a defeat could leave them staring the drop in the face.

Chelsea are five points behind Tottenham, who sit in fourth, but with a fairly easy run of games to end the season, they can still salvage a top four finish. A defeat on Saturday would likely end any hope of a Champions League spot.

Crystal Palace ran out 2-1 winners in the first meeting this season, which marked their first victory of the campaign as well as their first goal scored. Chelsea have lost on their last two meetings with Crystal Palace, both ending 2-1, and have won just four of their last nine meetings.