The defending Champions have had a torrid start to the season after they were held at the Bridge by Swansea on the opening day. They then lost to Manchester City at the Etihad where they were completely outplayed by Pellegrini’s men. But the signing of Barcelona star Pedro gave them the thrust needed to get their first victory last week against West Bromwich Albion away from home.
Alan Pardew’s Palace side sits in the 5th position on the league table with two victories out of three. Their only loss came against an out of form Arsenal side at the Selhurst Park. However, the manager will be happy with the team’s performance and will want to pile on the misery on Mourinho’s men when they travel to Chelsea on Saturday. In this article, we have provided a preview of the game along with the expected line-ups and predictions.
The Chelsea vs Crystal Palace match will be played at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday the 29th of August. The kickoff is scheduled at 3 pm BST (7:30 pm IST).
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Chelsea’s defensive stability is provided by their pillar John Terry at the back. But he received a red card in the match against WBA and will not be available for this game against Palace. Mourinho will also miss the services of Oscar and Victor Moses who remain side-lined due to injury. However, the arrival of Pedro has added a bit of flair to the team and Mourinho will bank on this confidence to get his team all three points this week.
Alan Pardew has a long list of injuries with Yannik Bolasie and Chamakh both lacking match fitness. Dwight Gayle, Zaha, Speroni and Connor Wickham are all doubtful for the clash at the Stamford Bridge. Joel Campbell and Jedinak are also unavailable due to injuries sustained for a long time. The manager will need his team to step up and keep up the intensity that the club showed during their victories in the previous matches.
Chelsea have a very talented squad and have depth in all departments. Costa who has not really impressed this season will be under pressure with the likes of Falcao under his nose. Hazard and Pedro to the sides of Willian and Fabregas is a mouth watering midfield and Mourinho will hope that these players produce the goods on Saturday.
The problem with Chelsea, something that is not associated with them has been their defense which has looked mediocre at times. They have let in 7 goals in three matches and will need to tighten things up at the back. Puncheon and Sako looked good in the previous games and if Wickham and Zaha are fit for the game, they will pose a lot of threat to the Chelsea defense.
However, a trip to the Bridge is never easy and Pardew will be aware of the fact and will set his team up to find at least a point from this match. He will need his defense to be strong and to make sure that Chelsea do not run away with the game in the beginning.
Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Zouma, Ivanovic, Matic, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian, Hazard, Costa
McCarthy, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, McArthur, Cabaye, Sako, Puncheon, Zaha, Wickham
Chelsea though low on confidence, are a tough nut to crack. Palace have not won a game at the Bridge since 1982 and this game is a perfect opportunity for Chelsea to kick start their season. Mourinho’s men need to come to the front in this game and not give Palace even a sniff.
Our Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Crystal Palace