Premier League: Chelsea vs Crystal Palace preview


Unbeaten third-placed Chelsea take on Crystal Palace in a London derby at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and the Blues will be hoping to get all three points in order to keep the pressure on Manchester City and Liverpool. Last season Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, but the Eagles won the reverse fixture at Selhurst Park with the same score. Moreover, two seasons ago the Eagles won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge with goals from Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke. Overall, each of the two sides has won three of the last six direct matches, with two away wins apiece.

Chelsea are still undefeated in all competitions this season, all but the Community Shield. In fact, after having lost that first match of the campaign, the Blues embarked on a fifteen match unbeaten streak. They have recorded three draws during that run, against West Ham, Manchester United and Liverpool, and scored three or more goals in each of their last four victories. Last weekend they secured an emphatic 4-0 victory at Burnley, and in midweek the Blues defeated Frank Lampard's Derby County 3-2 in the League Cup. Eden Hazard has missed the last three matches due to a back issue but he should be involved in Saturday's match.

Crystal Palace have won just four matches in all competitions this season, and all those four victories happened away from home. Now they are going through a rather dark patch, with no victories in their last five matches. Moreover, they have lost four of those five matches, including this week's 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough in the League Cup. However, last weekend's 2-2 draw against in-form Arsenal was a good result for the Eagles, and they even played pretty well in various moments of the match. Christian Benteke, Joel Ward and Scott Dann are still out of contention for Roy Hodgson's side.

Probable line-ups:

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga - Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso - Kante, Jorginho, Barkley - Willian, Morata, Hazard

Crystal Palace: Hennessey - Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt - Townsend, Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur - Ayew, Zaha

My prediction: Chelsea to win 4-1, the Blues can't be troubled by a team like Crystal Palace at the moment.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Chelsea win - 1.25
Draw - 5.75
Crystal Palace win - 11.00

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