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.
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.
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
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