Will league leaders, Chelsea continue to march on their undefeated streak or will Crystal Palace cause another shocking upset in the upcoming match set for October 18? If the Blues snatch another win, it will increase their lead over Manchester City in the second spot, while a draw or loss can put a little pressure on the EPL champions. Meanwhile, losing is not an option for Palace that is just four points away from relegation.
With defenders Scott Dann and Adrian Mariappa still nursing their injuries, Crystal Palace’s backfield looks quite shallow. Factor in the possibility of Stuart O’Keefe missing the match as well (due to injury concerns) and you’ll see that Crystal Palace’s line-up doesn’t seem foreboding enough to take down Chelsea. Crystal Palace team’s frontline has no proven record of goal-scoring capabilities, with only Mile Jedinak and Fraizer Campbell having managed to score a couple of goals for them. The Eagles did not have the the best offense against Hull, when it failed to score 11 times, and Chelsea’s skilled backfield does not make their job any easier. On a positive note, the Eagles have managed to score at least a couple of goals in three of the four Premier League games played recently.
Crystal Palace definitely needs to step up its offensive gameplay, having managed to control the ball only for about 35 percent of the time in the past three matches. Their defense should stay ahead of Chelsea’s extensive attacking tactics from the start. Eagles are preparing for the game with their previous win against Chelsea in mind, a 1-0 win in Selhurst Park last season, which hopefully boosts their morale.
Chelsea has been reigning the goal score table, with Diego Costa scoring 9 shots in 7 games, and Cesc Fabregas assisting goals. Another aspect in which the Blues score high is that it has had nine different players score goals this season. They stand unbeaten in the past 10 matches in the Premium League matches, after clinching the win in 8 matches. However, they’ll be missing midfielders Ramires and Eden Hazard who are injured, while Andre Schurrle may sit out due to a flu.
Despite missing out on some important players, Chelsea’s line-up still appears strong; Casc Fabregas and Diego Costa may be all Chelsea needs to get its three points. Having Branislav Ivanovic in the center-back should be enough to tackle the Palace offense, which did not fare that well against Hull. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has had a few rough games recently, although he bounced back in the matches against Arsenal and Aston Villa, emerging with clean sheets in two consecutive matches.
Of the five matches played between the two teams previously, Chelsea has won four in the Premier League. A win for the Blues to nil is strongly predicted for this one, although Crystal Palace fans do not want to rule out a second shocking win for their side completely.