Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man + Prediction
Chelsea take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park looking to extend their lead at the top. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-ups and predicted score
Chelsea make the short trip across London to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park looking to extend their lead at the top of the table.
The Blues head into the weekend action sitting one point clear of Liverpool and with third-placed Man City just three points adrift with two games in hand, it’s vital Chelsea put the pressure on with a win ahead of their rivals games against Tottenham and Arsenal.
Jose Mourinho’s men bounced back from a shock defeat to Aston Villa by thrashing Arsenal 6-0 last Saturday and they will be looking for another morale-boosting win tomorrow ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League quarter final first leg away at PSG.
However, Crystal Palace pushed the West Londoners all the way in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, narrowly losing 2-1, so Tony Pulis will be hoping to go one better this weekend.
The Eagles remain in a relegation dog fight and are now just three points from safety after picking up just one point in their lat five games, scoring just once in the process.
Palace will still be without the services of top scorer Marouane Chamakh with the Moroccan continuing to struggle with a hamstring injury. Therefore, Cameron Jerome is expected to lead the line.
Dwight Gayle is also out with an ankle injury but midfielder Barry Bannan is available again having returned to the bench for last weeks 1-0 loss to Newcastle.
Chelsea will be able to call upon Willian with the attacker returning from a one-match ban and he’s expected to come straight back in to the starting line-up.
Samuel Eto’o has been ruled out with a hamstring injury he picked up during the opening stages last week so Fernando Torres is likely to start up front.
Ashley Cole is also still missing as he continues to nurse a knee injury, while Ramires serves the second of his three match ban.
Mourinho could rest Eden Hazard ahead of Tuesday’s game with PSG, which could see Andre Schurrle continue in attack with Oscar.
Fernando Torres: With Eto’o out injured, Chelsea will be looking for the Spaniard to provide a goal threat up front, especially if Hazard is rested. Palace have been much stronger defensively since Pulis took over so it’s not going to be an easy afternoon for the former Liverpool man.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea: The hosts have been useless in front of goal lately while Chelsea have the best defensive record in the division, so we can only see Mourinho’s men taking another step towards the title.
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