Crystal Palace host Chelsea in the midday kick off on Sunday.
The Eagles will be looking to keep their mini unbeaten run in the Premier League intact, after now going three unbeaten in the League.
The Eagles drew 0-0 with Cardiff at home on boxing day, which would be seen as a disappointment with the Eagles fans, as they had just come off the back of their famous 2-3 win against Manchester City at the Etihad, and they were heavy favourites to pick up all three points from that game.
Can the Eagles repeat what happened last season when they faced Chelsea at home? On that occasion, Zaha scored the winner to end Palace’s dismal start of not winning a single Premier League game in their first seven games under De Boer and Hodgson.
Chelsea make the short trip to South London, on the back of their impressive and important 1-2 away win against Watford on boxing day, with Eden Hazard reaching the landmark of scoring 100 plus goals for the Blues.
The Blues bounced back from their disappointing and surprising 0-1 defeat to Leicester just before Christmas, by picking up all three points in Hertfordshire against the Hornets.
So, can Maurizio’s Sarri’s side start to build some momentum on the back of their win against Watford, by picking up all three points in this London Derby away to Crystal Palace? Or will Palace shock Chelsea again?
Recent form for both sides in the Premier League
Crystal Palace- L/L/W/W/D
Is this game televised in the UK?
Yes, the coverage starts from 11:30am on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, with kick off being at 12pm.
Roy Hodgson confirmed earlier in his press conference that Christian Benteke is the only player recovering from an injury, meaning that he has a full squad for the London derby on Sunday.
Hodgson could opt to keep the same starting lineup for the visit of Chelsea, although Jeffrey Schlupp is an option to come in on one of the flanks.
Connor Wickham will likely have to make do with a place among the replacements despite coming through 27 minutes against Cardiff.
Maurizio Sarri confirmed earlier in his press conference that both Pedro and Hudson-Odoi are injured for their upcoming trip to Palace after they both sustained injuries in their win against Watford on Boxing day.
Sarri did make it clear though that Hudson-Odoi will come back before Pedro, therefore suggesting that Pedro’s injury is more serious.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be used on the right wing with Hazard retaining his place down the centre, although Giroud remains an option with Hazard moving out wide.
Ross Barkley could get the nod over Mateo Kovacic in midfield, while Andreas Christensen may be fit enough to return to the squad after a minor issue with his hamstring.
Manager comments ahead of the game
Crystal Palace Manager: Roy Hodgson (Quotes Credit/Source- Crystal Palace’s official Twitter account)
Roy: I’m pleased that the atmosphere is good here at the training ground. It has been for a long time now and I’m pleased it’s survived the busy period and Boxing Day’s disappointment.
Roy: Very difficult [to contain Hazard]. He’s correctly regarded as one of the best in the world, a top player. He’s got all the skills, but he’s also wise and knows when to use them: when to pass and when to go.
Roy: Winning a game last year means nothing to you trying to win a game this year. We’re in the Premier League to play the Chelsea’s of the world. On paper, we’re not favourites, but it’s not over until the final whistle.
Chelsea Manager: Maurizio Sarri (Quotes Credit/Source- Chelsea’s official Twitter account)
Sarri says he is very happy with Hazard’s performances up front. He adds he was confident when he arrived at Chelsea that Hazard would be able to score more goals.
Sarri is expecting a very difficult match at Palace on Sunday. He notes they have kept three consecutive clean sheets at Selhurst Park, and are also very dangerous on the counter-attack.
Sarri says he thinks we can become more solid with Hazard playing a false nine position, but it depends on the moment. There is a chance in the future Hazard will play alongside a striker.
Predicted starting elevens
Crystal Palace’s predicted starting eleven- Guaita, Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Kouyate, Milivojevic, Meyer, Townsend, Zaha.
Chelsea’s predicted starting eleven- Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Loftus-Cheek, Hazard, Willian.
Head to Head
These two London sides have met 49 times in all competitions over the years, with the West-Londoners having the better head-to-head record, as they have recorded 23 wins in all competitions against the Eagles. There have been 15 draws in all competitions between these two London sides. The South-Londoners have only beaten the West-Londoners on 11 occasions over the years.
Their last meeting was earlier this season in the Premier League, where an Alvaro Morata brace helped Chelsea overcome Crystal Palace by 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, in November. Will the Spanish Striker be involved at all on Sunday for Chelsea?
Betting Odds/My Prediction
Bet 365 have made Chelsea favourites for this game at Selhurst Park on Sunday, with a Blues away win being priced at 8/11. A draw between these two sides is being priced 29/10. A surprise Crystal Palace home win is being priced at 17/4.
My realistic prediction for this game is a 2-2 draw.
My Optimistic prediction for this game is a 1-2 Chelsea win with Hazard and Loftus-Cheek scoring the goals for Chelsea, and Zaha getting the only Palace goal.
By Danyal Khan
Categories: Premier League