Chelsea will be seeking back-to-back Premier League successes when they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon (15:00 UK time).
Thomas Tuchel’s men returned to successful ways last time out when they ran out 2-0 winners against Tottenham at home. Before this win the Blues had gone on a four-game winless run which subsequently derailed their push towards championship glory. Heading into this latest round of fixtures Chelsea sit third and 16 points behind leaders Manchester City although they’ve played one game fewer.
As for their hosts, Palace have failed to win any of their past five league games, which includes two home losses against West Ham and Liverpool in fact the Eagles are on a two-game losing run at Selhurst Park. Before this Patrick Vieira’s side had lost just one of their previous 10 home matches.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea betting tips from Squawka Bet
- Chelsea to win and both teams to score @14/5 with William Hill
- Over 1.5 goals, 7.5 corners and 2.5 cards @107/100 with William Hill
Crystal Palace team news vs Chelsea:
- Ins: Cheikhou Kouyaté
- Outs: Nathan Ferguson and Conor Gallagher
Conor Gallagher will not be able to feature against his parent club. Elsewhere minus Nathan Ferguson unavailability through a thigh injury there’s a clean bill of health for Vieira who has welcomed AFCON winner Cheikhou Kouyaté back into the fold.
Predicted Crystal Palace XI vs Chelsea:
- Guaita; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Kouyate, Hughes, McArthur; Ayew, Mateta, Zaha (4-3-3).
The absence of Gallagher presents an opportunity for James McArthur to start for the South Londoners after he came off the bench in their goalless draw with Brentford last time out.
Chelsea team news vs Crystal Palace:
- Outs: Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Mason Mount
- Doubts: Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Ben Chilwell remains a long-term absentee for Cheslea who also miss leading scorer Mason Mount who is targeting an EFL Cup final return. “We will push for the League Cup final. We will push. He has injured ligaments. Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference. Reece James, who’s stepped up his recovery, is pushing towards a return to first-team action. “We are waiting for him. The plan is he rejoins the group next week,” the German tactician added.
Predicted Chelsea XI vs Crystal Palace:
- Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Kante, Alonso; Ziyech, Havertz; Lukaku (3-4-2-1).
After coming off the bench in their FIFA Club World Cup win Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner are hoping to be part of Tuchel’s starting lineup. Werner’s presence could be at Romelu Lukaku’s expense with the Belgian marksman often flattering to deceive this season, but Tuchel is standing by his ‘number nine’ when asked if he was disappointed by his goal return.
“We need a bit of more patience than we perhaps all wanted to have. We demand a lot of our strikers in terms of intensity, so there are reasons why things are maybe like this. There are teams who rely on one goalscorer, that is no secret, but there are teams who rely on more shoulders,” Tuchel told reporters.
“So both ways work and we want to bring Romelu to better situations. It’s an ongoing process. We still have trusted because he has proved at previous clubs he is the guy who gets the last touch on attacks.
“Disappointed is not the right word but, of course, we thought for him, and for him as well, he wanted to produce the numbers right from the start. But we are all humans and we keep on going.”