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Chelsea v Crystal Palace: Mourinho calm in bid for title glory

Jose Mourinho says the champagne is not on ice as Chelsea bid to secure the Premier League title in front of their own fans against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Chelsea have dominated domestically this season, losing just twice in the league, and another win would confirm a first top-flight crown since 2010.

A 3-1 come-from-behind victory at lowly Leicester City in midweek left Chelsea on the cusp of a fourth Premier League triumph and a third under Mourinho.

The Portuguese is understandably eager to ensure the task is finished at Stamford Bridge, but stressed it would be foolhardy to feel the job is already done.

“It’s easy. We need two or three points to be champions. Let’s say three, to make sure we don’t depend on goal difference,” Mourinho said.

“We need a victory or we need three points with three draws. Obviously, we want to finish as soon as possible.

“If we can do it at home, better. If we can do it on Sunday, even better. That’s what we have in our mind.

“Similar to [the games against] Arsenal and Leicester, we go to win but, at this moment, any point that we get is a positive point. So, we are calm.

“At this moment we have nothing prepared [for celebrations], nothing organised.”

Chelsea, who are once more without top scorer Diego Costa (hamstring) but welcome back Loic Remy (calf), come up against a manager that has already masterminded a victory over them this season.

Alan Pardew was the manager of Newcastle United when they beat Mourinho’s side 2-1 at St James’ Park in December.

Since taking over at Selhurst Park in January, Pardew has steered Palace to safety, but he has been left disappointed by back-to-back 2-0 defeats in home matches against West Brom and Hull City.

Pardew has now called on his team to respond in the correct manner and ensure Chelsea’s title celebrations are put on hold for at least another week.

“Last weekend was below the group’s standard. I didn’t even need to tell them, they told me. We didn’t reach the levels last week,” he said.

“We need to respond following our recent defeats, for ourselves and to keep the Premier League title r
ace interesting.”

Palace remain without forwards Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh (both hamstring), but Joel Ward will hope to shake off a shin injury.

Fri 1 May, 2015
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