8th of March 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Defending Premier League champions Chelsea are looking to bounce back after two consecutive defeats when they host relegation-threatened Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The reverse fixture produced one of the biggest upsets of the season as Crystal Palace defeated Chelsea 2-1 to record their first victory of the campaign. Last season the Eagles won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and they pulled off the same result in 2015, so they have become somewhat of a bogey team for the Blues lately.
Chelsea had an incredibly tough schedule lately, first they met Barcelona in the Champions League and did well to secure a 1-1 home draw, but then they lost 2-1 at Manchester United and 1-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League. Those two defeats dropped them to fifth place, five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, and if they don't bounce back now they could count themselves out of the race for the top four. However, manager Antonio Conte might choose to rest a few players as the Blues have to play the second leg of their Champions League tie with Barcelona next week.
Crystal Palace have not won a match since January 13 and then lost four of the following six fixtures. On Monday they seemed capable of producing another upset as they were leading Manchester United 2-0 but they ended up losing the match 3-2 and dropped to 18th place, one point away from safety. Manager Roy Hodgson still has an incredibly long injury list to worry about as Wilfried Zaha, Connor Wickham, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bakary Sako, Julian Speroni and Mamadou Sakho are all out of contention.
Chelsea: Courtois - Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger - Moses, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Alonso - Willian, Hazard - Morata
Crystal Palace: Hennessey - Fosu-Mensah, Tomkins, Kelly - Wan-Bissaka, Riedewald, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp - Sorloth, Benteke
My prediction: Chelsea to win 2-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Chelsea win - 1.28
Draw - 5.00
Crystal Palace win - 11.00
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