Crystal Palace vs Chelsea preview: Champions visit troubling Eagles

Crystal Palace face a tough visit from champions Chelsea as they look to turn around their hopeless start to the season.

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea preview: Champions visit troubling Eagles
Wayne Hennessy has had a rough start to the campaign, conceding 17 goals. Photo: Getty Images/Clive Brunskill

Crystal Palace face another tough test with a visit from the reigning champions Chelsea. They'll be travelling across London in search of three points following a disappointing display in a 1-0 loss against Manchester City prior to the international break.

It'll be a difficult task for the Eagles, who are still yet to score or register a point to their name this season. An injury crisis at the club, leaving them without a recognised striker, has not helped their cause.

Zaha return for Eagles?

However, Wilfried Zaha could be set to return. His attacking flair will definitely benefit Roy Hodgson's side as Christian Benteke remains sidelined and Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ineligible to face his parent club.

Palace's experienced manager Hodgson believes that Zaha has the ability to "make a difference" as he has proved in the past doing "some very important things for Crystal Palace".

Palace have nothing to lose heading into this fixture. Chelsea need a win to keep pace with the two Manchester clubs who are setting the league alight with entertaining football so far this season.

They looked incredibly uninspired against a well-organised Pep Guardiola side a fortnight ago, and with injury problems of their own plaguing the side - it may be a perfect opportunity for Palace to earn their first point, or three, of the season.









Injuries weaken a strong Chelsea side

A win will be Antonio Conte's main priority this weekend to maintain a challenge for the title. As many pundits have pointed out recently, Chelsea were in a similar position this time last year in their title-winning season. However, nothing more than a win against a desperately poor Crystal Palace will only damage their chances of retaining the title for the first time since 2006.

Alvaro Morata joins Danny Drinkwater on the injury list along with Ballon d'Or nominee N'Golo Kante. Conte believes that it is a "big loss" for his side due to the importance of his role in the team. He went on to explain that he feels that he does not have "a player with the same characteristics" within the squad.

A possible replacement may come in the form of David Luiz, who returns from his three-game suspension that he received for his straight red card in the 0-0 draw against Arsenal. If Conte is to look to the experience of Luiz, it'll open up an opportunity for Andreas Christensen or Antonio Rudiger in the Chelsea back three.

Match details

Venue: Selhurst Park

Kick-off: 3pm BST

Match official: Andre Marriner