Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Preview: Blues look to complete double over Eagles
Tammy Abraham converts past Crystal Palace goalkeeper, Guaita, in the reverse fixture. (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Chelsea travel to Crystal Palace for another derby, following a dominant three-nil victory over rivals Watford in SW6 on Saturday evening. 

Goals from Olivier Giroud, Willian and Ross Barkley were the icing on the cake to a performance that also brought a first clean sheet for Frank Lampard’s side in the league since the 8th of March, against Everton.

The Eagles on the other hand have had little to play for since domestic football resumed. 

They have shown that fact in their performances, with three defeats on the bounce, the third of which was a three-nil drubbing away to Leicester City on Saturday, a game which incidentally saw Leicester striker, Jamie Vardy, score his 100th Premier League goal.

Team News

Crystal Palace are without key players Jeffrey Schlupp and James Tomkins, with fellow defender Martin Kelly is also likely to miss out, despite being close to full fitness for Roy Hodgson’s side.

The Eagles are likely to rotate their side compared with the team that faced off against Leicester City, with Andros Townsend, James McCarthy and Cheikhou Kouyate all likely to start, although former Chelsea captain, Gary Cahill, is likely to start again in the heart of defence. 

For the Blues, Lampard will be without both Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante in the heart of midfield, with him likely to call on one of Jorginho or Billy Gilmour to fill the void. 

Fikayo Tomori is also likely to miss out, with Antonio Rudiger likely to deputise in the only change to the back four. 

Predicted Line-ups (via whoscored.com)

  • Crystal Palace:  Guaita; Ward, Cahill, Sakho, Aanholt; Milivojevic; Townsend, McCarthy, Kouyate, Zaha; Ayew. 

 

  • Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; James, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Mount, Gilmour, Barkley; Pulisic, Giroud, Willian. 

Form Guide

Crystal Palace: W, W, W, L, L, L. 

Chelsea: D, W, W, W, L, W. 

Ones to watch

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) 

The Ivory Coast International has, statistically speaking, had his worst campaign in the Premier League with Palace to date.

He still, however, remains their most potent attacking weapon. 

His ability to beat his opposite man, along with his pace and trickery marks him out as one of the Premier League’s most feared wide men, with Chelsea boss Frank Lampard knowing his defence will have to be at its best to keep a clean sheet. 

Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)

The United States International has returned from the League’s enforced break in scintillating form. 

As well as scoring twice in four games, he has tormented defenders and even won a penalty against Watford last time out.

His form between now and the end of the season will have a significant impact on whether the Blues finish in the top four and play Champions League football next term. 

Previous Meetings 

Chelsea have won the last four meetings between the two sides, with them winning the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge back in November.

Palace manager, Roy Hodgson, will be hoping that lady-luck is on his side once again tomorrow afternoon, with his first victory as the Eagles boss coming against the Blues in October 2017. 

The Blues have won 15 of their 21 meetings with Crystal Palace since the inaugural season of the Premier League. 

Where can I watch the game? 

In the UK, the fixture is available to watch on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action, from 5:30pm. 

Manager’s notes 

Roy Hodgson, speaking to Crystal Palace’s in-house press team, said: “I thought Chelsea were looking good before the break, and they’ve continued that. 

"We’ve been a bit unlucky in the sense that we got ourselves in a good position, but in this tight period we’re playing against a lot of top teams."

“Chelsea are a very, very good team with many, many good players and, irrespective of our own position in this moment in time, all we can do is prepare for it, get ready for it and look forward to it – I do look forward to it, and I know all the players are looking forward to the game.”

Blues boss Frank Lampard, speaking to Chelsea’s media team said: “Kante won’t be in the squad. 

“He has a low-level hamstring injury. We’re hoping it’ll be a week or so. I would expect we’ll be very lucky to have him for Sheffield United.

“Mateo Kovacic trained with us today, he’s not ready for this game, hopefully the next. 

“Fikayo Tomori is still not ready. He had a small setback in training so hopefully next week.”

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