Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from three successive defeats in all competitions when they continue their Premier League campaign at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues will enter the contest off the back of a 2-1 loss at Fulham in the league, while Palace suffered a 2-1 defeat to Southampton in the third round of the FA Cup last time out.
Graham Potter is not believed to be under serious pressure at this moment in time, with the Chelsea boss expected to be given time to get things right at Stamford Bridge, but there is no getting away from the fact that it has been a tough start to his time at the helm.
The 47-year-old has won eight, drawn four and lost seven of his 19 games in charge of the Blues, who will enter this match off the back of three straight losses in all competitions, including their last two in the league.
Indeed, Chelsea suffered a 2-1 loss to rivals Fulham in the league on Thursday, with that match following back-to-back defeats to Manchester City in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively, conceding five times to Pep Guardiola‘s side and failing to find the back of the net.
The Blues have four league games against Palace, Liverpool, Fulham and West Ham United before heading to Borussia Dortmund for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.
Potter’s side are currently down in 10th spot in the table, some 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who have a game in hand, so a Champions League finish this season is in severe doubt.
Chelsea have won each of their last 11 Premier League games against Palace, last failing to beat the Eagles in October 2017, which is a run of form that should hand them confidence heading into this match.
Indeed, Palace’s last success over Chelsea was that game in October 2017, with the home team running out 2-1 winners at Selhurst Park, Wilfried Zaha dispatching the match’s decisive goal in the 45th minute.
The Eagles are currently 12th in the Premier League table, just three points behind Chelsea, who have played a game more, so a victory on Saturday would move Patrick Vieira‘s side level with their London rivals.
Palace were last in league action on January 4, suffering a 4-0 loss at home to Tottenham Hotspur, but they were also beaten by Southampton last weekend in the FA Cup, so the capital outfit are yet to win in 2023.
The Eagles only have the league to worry about for the rest of the season, and they have three tough matches to end the month, taking on Man United and Newcastle United in their two after this one.
Vieira’s side have been inconsistent on their travels in the league this season, picking up just nine points from eight matches, but they have won two of their last three on the road against West Ham United and Bournemouth, and the visitors will be looking to take advantage of Chelsea’s struggles.
Chelsea’s issues have not been helped by a lengthy injury list, with Reece James, Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kante, Armando Broja, Ben Chilwell, Raheem Sterling, Edouard Mendy and Christian Pulisic all out.
Denis Zakaria is also a major doubt with the issue that he suffered against Fulham, while the match could also come too soon for Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Joao Felix was sent off on his debut against Fulham, meanwhile, so the on-loan Atletico Madrid forward will miss the team’s next three matches due to a suspension.
There could be three changes from the side that took to the field for the first whistle against Fulham, with Marc Cucurella, Jorginho and Hakim Ziyech potentially coming in for starts.
As for Palace, Tyrick Mitchell is back from a suspension and is expected to return to the XI in defence.
The Eagles will again be missing James McArthur and Nathan Ferguson through injury, but they are otherwise in good shape heading into the London derby.
There is not expected to be any major surprises in the away side’s XI on Sunday afternoon, with Zaha likely to be joined in the final third of the field by Jordan Ayew and Eberechi Eze.
Joel Ward is likely to be player to miss out at the back, with Nathaniel Clyne set to switch to right-back to allow Mitchell to return to his left-back position.
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Chalobah, T Silva, Koulibaly; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Cucurella; Mount, Havertz, Ziyech
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Olise, Doucoure, Schlupp; J Ayew, Zaha, Eze
This a huge game for Chelsea, as Potter needs to start turning the tide if he is to remain at the helm. Palace are more than capable of piling more misery on the Blues, but we just have a feeling that the hosts will be able to navigate their way to a vital three points on Sunday afternoon.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Source Credit: https://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/chelsea/preview/preview-chelsea-vs-crystal-palace-prediction-team-news-lineups_504154.html
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