Premier League [Preview]: Crystal Palace vs Chelsea

Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace play host to Chelsea in Saturday’s Premier League kickoff from Selhurst Park. The Eagles have endured their worst start to a top-flight campaign, and they are currently placed 20th in the standings with no goal or point in their tally. In comparison, the Blues have provided a decent title defence with 13 points after seven matches into the season. The reigning champions are presently six points adrift of table-toppers Manchester City – who are ahead of cross-town rivals Manchester United – only on goal difference.

Previous meeting:

The last outing between the clubs was at Stamford Bridge where Crystal Palace ran out 2-1 victors. Cesc Fabregas notched the opener for Chelsea in the fifth minute, but what followed was a surprise to many. Wilfred Saha and Christian Benteke scored for theEagles in the 9th and 11th minute respectively, and this condemned the Blues to a rare home defeat.

Players to watch for:

Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace: The former Manchester United man sustained a knee injury during the opening day 3-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town, but there is a distinct possibility that he will return to the matchday for Chelsea clash. Zaha contributed seven goals and nine assists for the Eagles during the previous campaign, and he was a key catalyst in the victories over Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in the tail-end of last season, which ensured their top-flight status.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea: With Alvaro Morata on the sidelines, Antonio Conte is likely to be tempted to utilise Hazard as a false number nine. The Italian head coach used a similar technique during Diego Costa’s spell out with indiscipline last term, and the attacker is capable of standing out on his day. Hazard has yet to notch a goal for Chelsea this term, but he produced one of his best performances during the 2-1 Champions League triumph over Atletico Madrid last month.

Prediction:

Crystal Palace have had no luck whatsoever this season, and Chelsea are likely to pile more misery on their south London counterparts this weekend. Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea

Image – Creative Commons

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