Chelsea v Crystal Palace: Predictions, odds, match preview & betting tips
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Chelsea v Crystal Palace: Predictions
Despite a summer of massive spending, Chelsea have endured a very tough start to the 2020/21 season so far.
Frank Lampard’s squad was strengthened by the arrivals of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and more during pre-season but the Blues have won just one of their opening three Premier League games, beating Brighton 3-1 before losing 2-0 to Liverpool and coming from 3-0 down to West Brom to draw 3-3. Chelsea also crashed out of the EFL Cup on penalties to Tottenham Hotspur in midweek.
But Crystal Palace are also trying to erase the memory of a bad result themselves, losing 2-1 at home to Everton having won their opening two fixtures beforehand (against Southampton and Man Utd). Roy Hodgson’s men will certainly pose a threat to Chelsea despite that result, though, with Wilfried Zaha kicking off the new season in fine form.
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Chelsea v Crystal Palace Team News
Christian Pulisic returns to the Chelsea squad this weekend after the hamstring injury he suffered in the FA Cup Final defeat to Arsenal, but is unlikely to start against Crystal Palace. The Blues’ goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is expected to start his first Premier League match here however.
The Eagles’ defensive injury woes are finally starting to ease somewhat. Gary Cahill, James Tomkins and Patrick van Aanholt have all returned to training but will still miss out this weekend with midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate expected to fill in at centre-back once again.
Chelsea have won their last five Premier League games against Crystal Palace and although they’ve never enjoyed a run of six consecutive victories against the Eagles, Timo Werner getting off the mark against Spurs might just give them the attacking impetus needed to get over the line.
Still, expect Zaha — who has more direct goal involvements against Chelsea (three goals, three assists) than any other Premier League opponent — to have his say, especially given that he’s already managed three goals in three games at the start of this season.
Since beating the Blues 2-1 at Selhurst Park back in October 2017, Crystal Palace have lost all five of their meetings with the Blues. During that time, the Eagles have scored just four times, while conceding no fewer than 11 goals against their London rivals.