Chelsea come back into Premier League action as they visit Crystal Palace on the weekend at Selhurst Park in a London Derby.
Chelsea and Crystal Palace lock horns on Saturday, April 10, as both teams look to accomplish different objectives in the domestic season as the Premier League nears its business end of the season.
Tomas Tuchel’s side comes into the game on the back of a confident 2-0 win against Porto in Spain, in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s quarter-final. Chelsea’s last league game before the Crystal Palace visit was a horrific 5-2 loss to West Bromwich Albion. which broke Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten run. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace played a 1-1 draw at Everton before hosting Chelsea.
Palace’s draw at Everton was largely based on the below-average scoring accuracy at goal by the Toffees. The hosts missed a dozen clear scoring chances at Goodison Park to put the game to bed. Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita pulled off numerous saves in goal to keep denying Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the night. Nevertheless, Everton took the lead through a James Rodriguez strike, which was later cancelled out by Michy Batshuayi in the dying embers of the game. Batshuayi is on loan from Chelsea till the end of the season.
Crystal Palace are having an average campaign so far, and a mid-table finish looks like the best bet for Hodgson’s side. They are 12 points above the relegation zone and 11 points away from the top seven. Palace have almost consolidated their mid-table position in the Premier League with a three-game unbeaten streak. Meanwhile, they have only lost one of their previous six games in the Premier League.
Despite some positive numbers in their current league run, the home side does not have a positive historical record against Chelsea. Hodgson has lost all of his six previous games against the Blues.
Chelsea suffered a shock result at West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge as Thomas Tuchel’s men went down to a 5-2 loss to the tactical brilliance of Sam Allardyce. The loss also ended Tuchel’s 100% record at home as the 10-men Chelsea side suffered a forgivable night at home.
However, the Blues hit back in no time and in style, as they went past a defensively solid side Porto in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. Goals from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell ensured a healthy 2-0 lead in the first leg. The Blues lock horns again with the Portuguese side for the second leg next week.
The surprising defeat at West Bromwich Albion hardly means much for Tuchel’s side as long as they manage to come back into the Premier League with some defensively resolute performances. However, the defeat has rendered the Blues out of the Champions League slot in the league table. They have been replaced by West Ham United after the results of the previous weekend. Chelsea are in fifth place in the Premier League and could slip to sixth if Liverpool manage all three points over Aston Villa before Chelsea’s Saturday kick-off at Crystal Palace.
Mason Mount: The young English midfielder is in the form of his life at Chelsea. Mount has scored six goals and made four assists so far in the Premier League this season. Mount, who generally prefers to stay behind the strikers and create openings, has found himself playing as an advanced midfielder under Tomas Tuchel.
Mount has stayed at Chelsea all his life and could potentially emerge as one of the finest Chelsea academy graduates of all time. His control of the ball and vision has made the likes of Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud more open to scoring goals.
Ben Chilwell: The English left-back has turned out to be a significant provider of goals at Chelsea. Chilwell likes to move up the pitch and support his strikers with crosses and passes into the box. He likes to play as a left wing-back or even as a left-winger and has allowed extra options for Tomas Tuchel. Chilwell has created four goals and scored twice so far.
Tammy Abraham: The young English striker is set to win his spot back in the Chelsea line-up after a string of injuries in the past few weeks. Abraham will battle with Giroud, Timo Werner, and Kai Havertz up front to act as the sole or secondary striker. He has already scored six goals and made two assists.
Wilfred Zaha: The Ivorian is the highest scorer at the club and will be tasked with finding goals against Chelsea. He has scored nine goals and created two. Zaha scored a memorable goal when the two sides met at Stamford Bridge last season, as he smashed the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga from distance.
Chelsea, despite the West Brom shock, are expected to prevail away from home at Crystal Palace, despite the decent run of form from Roy Hodgson’s side. The Blues have enough talent to prove that the Baggies blunder was an exception in an otherwise consistent string of results.