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Crystal Palace - Chelsea: Preview and Lineups Prediction

Chelsea takes on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon seeking to prevent...


Chelsea takes on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon seeking to prevent the hosts from achieving a league double over them while pursuing a first victory under Guus Hiddink.

A pair of draws from the Dutchman's opening two fixtures hardly embodied the revolutionary performances needed to propel the Blues into top four contention, but the absence of another bitter defeat is undoubtedly a positive.

Alan Pardew's Eagles are enjoying a confident run of form with their last hiccup being a 1-0 loss to Sunderland six matches ago in late November. While the home side aim to stay within touching distance of the Champions League qualification places, Chelsea need three points to start proving they can reinvent themselves under a new manager.


Crystal Palace Team News

Alan Pardew has no fewer than six injury concerns to juggle ahead of Sunday's clash with the reigning Premier League champions.

Yohan Cabaye is the most notable absentee as the Frenchman serves his one-match suspension for picking a fifth booking of the campaign last weekend.

The Palace manager also has personnel missing in each area of the pitch: Damien Delaney (ankle) is a doubt in defence, wingers Yannick Bolasie (hip) and Bakary Sako (hamstring), and Kwesi Appiah (knee), Dwight Gayle (hamstring) and Connor Wickham (calf) up front.

Crystal Palace Starting XI Prediction

Hennessy | Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare | Jedinak, McArthur, Mutch, Zaha, Puncheon | Chamakh

Last Five Meetings

Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace (Premier League, August 2015)
Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace (Premier League, May 2015)
Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea (Premier League, October 2014)
Crystal Palace 1-0 Chelsea (Premier League, March 2014)
Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace (Premier League, December 2013)

Score Prediction

Crystal Palace is exactly the kind of side we don't want to come up against while trying to find our feet with Hiddink in charge. Confident, direct, and very quick, the Eagles have the ideal weaponry to hurt a vulnerable Chelsea side.

Despite the team looking slightly more composed under the new boss, it's the same old story when it comes to finding the back of the net. Someone other than Willian needs to start making a difference in the final third; it's getting to the point where the likes of Hazard, Oscar and Fabregas are virtually ineffectual in terms of creating chances.

The other area of concern is our two full-backs, as usual. Although I'd like to see more of Baba Rahman, it could be a risk to throw him in at left-back to mark Wilfried Zaha in his current vein of form. On the right, Branislav Ivanovic has appeared slightly more competent of late, and he should (I use the word should very carefully) be capable of shackling Jason Puncheon. I wouldn't bank on it, though, and John Terry and Kurt Zouma could find themselves making their fair share of clearances.

I think we might leave Selhurst Park with a 1-1 draw. What are your score predictions?

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