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

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

Out-of-form Crystal Palace welcome a Chelsea side chasing Champions League football in a London derby at Selhurst Park on Tuesday evening.

The hosts go into the match having lost their last three games, whereas Chelsea made an immediate return to winning ways against Watford on Saturday.

Match preview

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring against Watford on July 4, 2020© Reuters

One of the positives about having fixtures coming so thick and fast is that teams have quick chances to bounce back from defeats, which is exactly what Chelsea did on Saturday.

Not many people saw their 3-2 defeat to West Ham United coming, and while that result could ultimately prove costly in the top-four race, it would have been more so had they not reacted so well against Watford.

Goals from Olivier Giroud, Willian and Ross Barkley earned Frank Lampard's side a 3-0 victory over the relegation-threatened Hornets, lifting them back into the top four after they had briefly dropped out earlier in the day.

There is still only a two-point cushion to an in-form Manchester United in fifth and so Chelsea's margin for error is slim, but with six wins from their last seven games across all competitions they are starting to show the sort of consistency they will need to maintain for the remainder of the campaign.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard pictured on June 25, 2020© Reuters

Only United have picked up more points than Chelsea from their last six Premier League outings, although the Blues' away form does need improving with only one win from their six such top-flight games so far this calendar year.

Chelsea have kept only one clean sheet on the road throughout the entire season, so they will be relieved to have seen Crystal Palace's goals dry up even more than usual in recent games.

The Eagles have been far from free-scoring throughout 2019-20, with only Norwich City hitting the back of the net on fewer occasions, and they have drawn blanks in each of their last three outings heading into this match - losing them 8-0 on aggregate.

Palace's current form is diametrically opposed to the run they were on beforehand, with their streak of three defeats without scoring coming after a run of four wins without conceding.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson pictured in June 2020© Reuters

Roy Hodgson's side only registered one shot on target - from centre-back Gary Cahill - during Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Leicester City, a result which effectively ended any slim hopes of European qualification next season.

Hodgson had given his players the target of setting a new record points tally for Palace in the Premier League era, and they now need eight points from their final five games if they are to achieve that.

That is an achievable task, but Palace have a tricky end to the campaign with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur still to come in those five games.

Three of those come at home, where Palace will need to improve, having won only two and lost four of their last seven outings across all competitions.

Crystal Palace Premier League form: WWWLLL

Chelsea Premier League form: DWWWLW
Chelsea form (all competitions): WWWWLW

Team News

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante pictured on July 4, 2020© Reuters

Chelsea suffered a potentially significant blow to their top-four hopes when N'Golo Kante picked up a hamstring issue during the win over Watford.

The full extent of the problem has not yet been revealed, but he is almost certain to miss this game considering the quick turnaround in fixtures.

Mateo Kovacic and Fikayo Tomori will also miss this one, although both players are nearing returns and could feature next weekend.

Barkley will be hopeful of another start, having been directly involved in eight goals from his last 10 starts across all competitions, while Giroud has scored four goals in his last seven Premier League games for Chelsea - more than he had netted in his previous 38 appearances.

Palace have no fresh injury concerns and were able to welcome Christian Benteke back into the side at the weekend.

James McCarthy and Cheikhou Kouyate are pushing for recalls, but Martin Kelly, Jeffrey Schlupp and James Tomkins are all still sidelined.

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Cahill, Sakho, Van Aanholt; Ayew, McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Zaha; Benteke

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Alonso; Barkley, Jorginho, Mount; Willian, Giroud, Pulisic

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We say: Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea

Chelsea have won the last four editions of this fixture and have scored two or more goals in nine of their last 10 Premier League games, and we can see both runs extending here.

Palace's form has dropped off dramatically after passing the 40-point mark, whereas Chelsea know that almost every match is now must-win for them with Man United in such fine form behind them.


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

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