Chelsea travel across London later looking to inflict yet more misery on lowly Crystal Palace and get their season back on track. The Blues struggled to cope with Manchester City’s all-action approach last time out, and with injuries to N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata, Antonio Conte will have to introduce some of his squad players against Roy Hodgson’s men.
Despite their injury issues, Antonio Conte will be sticking with the 3-4-3 formation that has served him so well at the Bridge. Crystal Palace have yet to score a Premier League goal this term and Conte will be looking for his men to take the game to the Eagles from minute one with a high-tempo approach.
Thibaut Courtois is very much the first name on the team sheet for the Blues. David Luiz’s absence was felt in the 1-0 loss to Manchester City and having served his domestic suspension he will surely return here. Cesar Azpilicueta’s trial run at right-wing-back didn’t pay off against City so he looks set to slide back into the central back three alongside club captain Gary Cahill.
Victor Moses was left out against Man City but should return here against his boyhood club, whilst Marcos Alonso doesn’t seem to have much competition at left wing-back currently.
N’Golo Kante’s absence is sure to be felt by the Blues, with Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko the men in pole position to keep things ticking in midfield, with Eden Hazard sure to be given a roaming role in front of them.
Without Alvaro Morata, Conte could look to Michy Batshuayi to lead the line and the young Belgian looks set to be flanked by the creativity and guile of Pedro – with Willian as an option from the bench.
Predicted Starting XI
Where the Game Will Be Won or Lost
Much has been made of Palace’s struggles this season and Roy Hodgson looks to have a significant rebuilding job on his hands to keep his team in the Premier League. The atmosphere at Selhurst Park is notoriously tasty and the Palace fans will be desperate to see their team get a result against last season’s champions. The Blues, however, will look to kick Palace whilst they’re down and with their incisive passing and solid defending will feel confident in their abilities to put Palace to the sword.
Whilst Crystal Palace’s run can’t go on forever and they must break their duck at some point, the Eagles shouldn’t possess anywhere near enough firepower to hurt Chelsea. As a result, Conte’s men should see lots of the ball and will look to press home their advantage and make Roy Hodgson’s men pay.
Crystal Palace 0 – 2 Chelsea