MX23RW : Wednesday, October 28 13:48:24| >> :120:8813:8813:
Oct 3, 2020 at 12.30pm UK at Stamford Bridge
ChelseaChelsea
4-0
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
Chilwell (50'), Zouma (66'), Jorginho (78' pen., 82' pen.)
Azpilicueta (64'), Kante (70')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Crystal Palace, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Chelsea will be keen to put a challenging week behind them when they welcome London rivals Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge in Saturday's lunchtime Premier League kickoff.

Frank Lampard's side were forced to pull off a three-goal comeback at West Bromwich Albion last weekend before being knocked out of the EFL Cup in midweek, while Palace are also looking to bounce back from a defeat.


Match preview

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard clash on the touchline on September 29, 2020© Reuters

The pre-season buzz of excitement which surrounded big-spending Chelsea has faded somewhat after an underwhelming start to the new campaign.

Talk of a potential title challenge was put on hold when they were a distant second-best to Liverpool during their opening home league game of the season last month, while their costly defensive issues were glaringly exposed last weekend against West Brom.

Lampard watched on angrily as his error-prone side fell three goals down inside 27 minutes and, while the second-half fightback will have cheered him up somewhat, they looked a long way away from a title-challenging team at The Hawthorns.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is now available, though, and offered a glimpse of exactly why Chelsea were so keen to sign him with a good debut performance against Tottenham Hotspur in midweek.

Tottenham Hotspur's Sergio Reguilon in action with Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi in the EFL Cup on September 29, 2020© Reuters

Even that was not enough to send Chelsea through to the quarter-finals, though, as a late Erik Lamela equaliser forced penalties and Mason Mount missed the crucial spot kick to condemn the Blues to defeat against a Spurs side playing their second game in three days.

Timo Werner's first competitive goal for the club was one positive to take from that match and he will hope that the floodgates now open, having made a relatively slow start to life in the Premier League so far.

Chelsea are still looking for their first home league win of the season after losing to Liverpool in their opener - only the third time they have ever lost their opening home match of a Premier League campaign and a result which puts them in danger of losing their first two home games of a top-flight season for the first time since 1978-79.

The Eagles have already beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford this season, having lost their final four away games of last season without scoring, and go into the match sitting pretty in sixth - three places and two points above their hosts.

Manager Roy Hodgson will feel as though they should be higher, though, and the footballing world seems to agree; his grim assessment of the handball law after last weekend's defeat to Everton has been held up as the most succinct and cutting criticism of it yet.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson pictured in September 2020© Reuters

The reason for Hodgson's ire was a controversially-awarded penalty given against Joel Ward, who could do nothing to prevent Lucas Digne's header from hitting his hand in the area - an incident which allowed Everton to dispatch the winning goal from the spot.

Not only did that cost Palace a point, it also cost them their unbeaten start to the league season having shaken off such a poor end to 2019-20 with back-to-back victories over Southampton and Manchester United.

However, although the injustice of the Everton defeat may sting for a while, Hodgson will still take belief from the fact that it took a universally unpopular decision to undo his side and, when it comes to matters inside their control, they have been impressive this term.

Palace will therefore make the trip across London full of confidence that they can take something home from Stamford Bridge despite losing their last five meetings with Chelsea.

Chelsea Premier League form: WLD
Chelsea form (all competitions): WLWDL

Crystal Palace Premier League form: WWL
Crystal Palace form (all competitions): WLWL


Team News

Edouard Mendy in action for Chelsea on September 29, 2020© Reuters

Mendy is expected to make his Premier League debut after immediately being given the gloves ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero in midweek.

Werner was unable to take a penalty in the shootout due to cramp, raising a slight question mark over his fitness for this game five days later, but he is expected to recover in time to start once again.

Lampard has confirmed that Christian Pulisic will be in the squad for this match but will not start as he continues to work his way back up to full fitness.

The match comes too soon for Hakim Ziyech, though, with the new arrival expected to be in contention for his debut after the upcoming international break.

Billy Gilmour remains a long-term absentee, while Marcos Alonso is not expected to be involved after being hooked at half time against West Brom - allegedly following a furious row with Lampard.

Alonso, Antonio Rudiger and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all been linked with moves away in the coming days, so all three could be overlooked again here.

As for Palace, they remain short of defensive options with Gary Cahill, James Tomkins, Patrick van Aanholt and Nathan Ferguson among those on a lengthy list of absentees - although they are all now back in training.

Michy Batshuayi is unable to face his parent club and so Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew are expected to start up front together again.

Jeffrey Schlupp is still out after picking up a muscle strain last weekend, which should mean another start for Eberechi Eze.

Saturday's match is also expected to come too soon for Scott Dann and Connor Wickham.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; James, Christensen, Thiago Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic; Mount, Havertz, Werner; Abraham

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Sakho, Mitchell; Townsend, McCarthy, McArthur, Eze; Ayew, Zaha


SM words green background

We say: Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace

This is a difficult to match to call given Chelsea's defensive struggles already this season, but Mendy's arrival should help them to tighten things up at the back a bit more.

Palace were desperately unfortunate to lose last weekend and will put up a good fight, but their record against Chelsea is poor and we expect the hosts to just about edge it again this time around.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


ID:416703:cQx

Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Crystal Palace?

Chelsea
Draw
Crystal Palace
Chelsea
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Crystal Palace
0.0%
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Antonio Rudiger pictured for Chelsea on December 10, 2019
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Everton6411149513
2Liverpool64111514113
3Aston Villa5401125712
4Leicester CityLeicester6402138512
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs6321168811
6Leeds UnitedLeeds6312129310
7Southampton6312109110
8Crystal Palace631289-110
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves631268-210
10Chelsea623113949
11Arsenal63038719
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham622212848
13Manchester CityMan City52218808
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle6222810-28
15Manchester UnitedMan Utd5212912-37
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton61231012-25
17West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom6033614-83
18Burnley501439-61
19Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd601539-61
20Fulham6015514-91

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