Saturday, 9 November 2019
Chelsea, on a five-game winning streak in the league, host Crystal Palace, in the early Saturday kickoff at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have been in imposing form of late and could leapfrog Leicester City – who face Arsenal this weekend – into third with maximum reward against Palace.
Frank Lampard’s young side are looking strong candidates for a top-four finish this season and are firm favourites to extend their fine run this weekend.
Despite the natural positives, however, Chelsea are yet to convince in front of their home supporters – a trend which continued against Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Crystal Palace are ninth in the division but have a very respectable away record in 2019, winning eight and drawing two of their 14 Premier League fixtures away from Selhurst Park.
Palace collected 29 of their 49 points on their travels last season and their two best performances this season have also been away. They have registered eight away league victories in 2019. Only Manchester City (12) and Liverpool (10) have been more successful on the road.
A 2-1 win at Manchester United in August and last month’s 2-1 victory at West Ham showed what the Eagles are capable of on the road, while they came back from 2-0 down to rescue a point at Arsenal in their last away game.
This will be the Eagles’ fourth game in a row against one of the Premier League’s current top five, and the way Chelsea are going it could be as tricky as any of them. They are however winless in three league matches (D1, L2), conceding six goals.
The game will be a landmark for the Palace manager; it is Roy Hodgson’s 300th Premier League match as a manager.
American superstar Christian Pulisic has now well and truly acclimatised to English football and is now a firm starter for the Blues, netting four goals in his previous two Premier League outings, including an emphatic hat-trick away to Burnley.
The hosts will have Mason Mount available after he limped off in the sensational 4-4 draw with Ajax in midweek, but Ross Barkley will miss out. Jorginho is suspended for the game after picking up his fifth booking of the season last weekend.
The visitors have a fully fit squad to choose from for the trip to Stamford Bridge, with Andros Townsend, James McArthur, Gary Cahill and Cheikhou Kouyate all back after short-term knocks.
As well as wanting to end Palace’s streak without a clean sheet, Gary Cahill will be keen to impress against his former club having sat out much of his final year at Chelsea.
Jordan Ayew has a chance to be the fourth player to score away against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea in the same season.
Wilfried Zaha will also relish the chance to finally net his first goal of the season.
Head to head:
Crystal Palace have only won two of their 17 top-flight away fixtures against Chelsea with the Blues winning three of the last 5 encounters.
Chelsea win with Over 2.5 goals