Friday, August 7, 2020

Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Chelsea

Verdict: Chelsea to score over 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Making the trip across London in midweek, Chelsea will look to move one step closer to another top-four finish when they travel to Selhurst Park on Tuesday evening.

Crystal Palace

Starting with the hosts, although Crystal Palace may have impressed on their return to action with a 2-0 defeat away at Bournemouth last month, the Eagles now find themselves in the midst of a real sluggish patch. Putting in what looked like a fatigued display at the King Power on Saturday and hit with a 3-0 drumming away at an inconsistent Leicester, Roy Hodgson’s side have have now lost their last three Premier League matchups on the bounce, a run highlighted by a worrying 1-0 loss at home against Burnley. Freefalling back down to 14th and in the midst of their worst run since the start of February, there is no doubt that the one-time England boss will have a growing headache over his side’s continued issues in the final third. With only defender Gary Cahill mustering a shot on target against the Foxes over the weekend, Tuesday’s hosts have now failed to bag a single strike in any of their previous three defeats, their worst attacking run since September 2017.

Team News

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson must weigh up whether to recall Cheikhou Kouyate, Scott Dann and James McCarthy after they were rested at Leicester.

Injured trio James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp and Martin Kelly are again expected to miss out.

Chelsea

As for the visitors, really bouncing back from their shock late defeat against London rivals West Ham last week, Chelsea still find themselves in pole position to secure another top-four finish. Really putting in a rampant display on Saturday night and picking up a 3-0 win against relegation scrappers Watford at Stamford Bridge, Frank Lampard’s youngsters have won six of their last seven matches across all competitions and also have an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United on the horizon. Continuing to shine in the final third and now bagging at least a pair of strikes in each of their last seven Premier League matchups on the spin, the former England midfielder will be thrilled with Willian’s extended purple patch since returning to action last month. Once again converting from the spot against the Hornets over the weekend, the Brazilian winger has now bagged six strikes in his last seven matches across all formats. Winning each of their last four meetings against Tuesday’s hosts, Chelsea will travel across London confident of extending their buffer in the top-four in midweek.

Team News

Chelsea are likely to be without N’Golo Kante after he suffered a hamstring injury at the weekend.

Fellow midfielder Mateo Kovacic and defender Fikayo Tomori remain on the sidelines.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Including a 2-0 win when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Chelsea have won each of their last four meetings against Tuesday’s hosts.
  • Chelsea have won six of their last seven matches across all competitions.
  • Crystal Palace have lost their last three Premier League matchups on the bounce for the first time since February.
  • More worrying, the Eagles have failed to find the net in three top-flight matches on the spin for the first time since September 2017.
  • Chelsea winger Willian has bagged three goals in back-to-back appearances and has six goals in his last seven matches across all formats.

Conclusion

On paper, Chelsea will see their trip to Selhurst Park on Tuesday as a golden opportunity to move one step closer to another top-four finish. Bouncing back from their shock defeat against the Hammers last week and really blowing away Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night, they will also be boosted by what is a rampant record against Palace. With the Eagles now in the midst of their worst attacking run since September 2017 and losing their last three top-flight matchups on the bounce, the Blues have won each of their last four straight meetings against the midweek hosts. With the likes of Willian continuing to shine in West London, we’re backing another fruitful night for Chelsea on Tuesday evening.

Verdict: Chelsea to score over 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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