Ziyech starts | Expected Chelsea line-up vs Crystal Palace
Chelsea make the trip to Selhurst Park for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace. Here is our expected line-up
Chelsea make the trip to Selhurst Park for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace.
The Blues were recently crowned the FIFA Club World Cup champions after a 2-1 extra-time win over Palmeiras in Abu Dhabi.
The club will be aiming to carry the momentum into the London derby. Chelsea have an excellent Premier League record over Palace. They have won their last eight league meetings, keeping four clean sheets in the process.
Here is how Chelsea could line up against Palace:
Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy has been Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper and there were no surprises when he was picked ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga for the Club World Cup final. He has kept an impressive eight clean sheets from 20 league games this term. The Senegal star is set to continue in goal.
Defence: The central defence should be identical to the Palmeiras game. Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger are all expected to keep their places. Reece James has been working on his fitness after a hamstring injury, but the game may come too soon for him to start. This may see Cesar Azpilicueta continue in the right wing-back role for Chelsea.
Marcos Alonso was an unused substitute against Palmeiras with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic sharing the left wing-back duties. The former may get the nod over Alonso, who has been criticised by some fans for his poor defensive awareness.
Midfield: Jorginho was an unused substitute for the Club World Cup final, and should be afresh for the derby. He could be accompanied by Mateo Kovacic over N’Golo Kante, who played the entire 120 minutes. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has been cautious over Kante’s fitness and could opt to start him on the bench.
Hakim Ziyech back in the XI
Attack: There will be an enforced change in the Chelsea attack with Mason Mount sidelined with an ankle ligament injury. Hakim Ziyech could be a likely contender to start with his promising league form. The £31.5m star has netted in back-to-back top-flight games against Brighton and Tottenham.
He should be accompanied by Kai Havertz, who netted the match-winning penalty last weekend. Romelu Lukaku’s position was being debated lately, but he has redeemed himself with two goals at the Club World Cup. The Belgian is expected to lead the line ahead of Timo Werner.
Expected Chelsea line-up (3-4-2-1) vs Crystal Palace