Big Match Breakdown: Chelsea v Crystal Palace
Betting Preview and odds for Premier League clash
Chelsea will be looking to keep up the heat on Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League when they take on Crystal Palace this afternoon.
The Blues are still unbeaten under Maurizio Sarri. But Palace have developed a habit of picking up points at Stamford Bridge in recent years.
Who will prevail this time, live on Sky Sports Main Event from 4pm?
The Blues battled to a 2-1 win when the sides last met at the Bridge in March. That was their first three-point haul at home to the Eagles since May 2015. Alan Pardew and then Sam Allardyce led Palace to successive victories in West London in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
Chelsea still boast the better overall record in the fixture, with 25 wins to Palace’s 12. There have also been 15 draws, although the fixture is without a stalemate in its last 15 iterations.
Sarri looks set to welcome back Eden Hazard, after the Belgian talisman missed the last three matches. He should slot in on the left side of a front-three, which also features Alvaro Morata and Willian. The regular back five, including the goalkeeper, will also be restored following the midweek Carabao Cup win over Derby County.
Palace should stick with the same XI which picked up a valuable point at home to Arsenal last weekend. That means Wilfried Zaha alongside Jordan Ayew, with Cheikhou Kouyate and Luka Milivojevic pulling the strings in midfield.
Can James Tomkins and co. shackle Hazard effectively? If they can’t, then Palace could be in trouble. He and Willian will look to occupy the spaces created by Morata, while Chelsea’s mobile midfield three could overrun the often erratic Eagles midfield two.
Hodgson’s men won’t get as much joy at the Bridge as they did against Arsenal last week. The Blues have conceded just two goals to sides outside the ‘big six’ this season, with Zaha offering the only realistic threat against them this afternoon.
The hosts are 2/7 favourites to maintain their 100% record against sides outside the ‘big six’. Palace are out at 11/1 for their first away win against one of the big boys since April 2017. Our traders have the draw as a 19/4.
Zaha offers the best hope for the visits. The Ivory Coast international has two goals in his last three matches with the Blues and is 10/3 Anytime. Milivojevic is 7/1 to follow up his brace last weekend with another strike Anytime, while it’s 19/20 for Both Teams to Score.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing