Crystal Palace vs Chelsea: Preview, team news, probable line-ups, facts, and prediction | Premier League 2018-19
Chelsea’s morale-boosting win over Watford on Boxing Day was much-needed after they suffered a shock defeat against Leicester City at home last weekend.
A trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace is not an ideal away game for Maurizio Sarri, especially after Palace’s heroics at Manchester City. The Blues were also beaten by the Eagles on their last visit to Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace will have their first choice goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, back in the team following back injury, although Roy Hodgson may not involve him. Christian Benteke is still sidelined, while Martin Kelly is expected to return from groin strain.
Chelsea will be without Pedro who suffered a hamstring injury against Watford on Boxing Day. Apart from the Spaniard’s injury, Maurizio Sarri has a near full strength squad to pick from.
Crystal Palace are the only side outside the top four who have kept more clean-sheets in the league this season (7), and are looking for a fourth consecutive match shut-out.
Crystal Palace are on a three match unbeaten streak, their longest run without defeat this season (W2, D1).
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard scored twice at Watford, taking his tally to 10 league goals this season. He also has 9 assists to his name this season. His involvement of 19 league goals is the highest of any player in the league this season.
Chelsea are also looking to win three consecutive away games for the first time time under Maurizio Sarri.
Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Guaita; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Aanholt; Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur, Meyer; Zaha, Townsend.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, David Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic; Willian, Giroud, Hazard.
The problem with Crystal Palace is finding consistency. One moment, they shock the champions in their own backyard, and in the next they fail to beat Cardiff who have been leaking goals for fun.
Chelsea on the other hand were the first team to beat Man City this season, and ended up losing to Leicester at Stamford Bridge a week ago. But their response has been brilliant. They passed a tough Boxing Day test at Watford, and will be in high spirits heading to Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace 1-3 Chelsea