Chelsea v Crystal Palace, Premier League

Fans will be hoping to see Wilfried Zaha share the stage with Eden Hazard on Sunday

Chelsea v Crystal Palace, Sun 4th November, 4pm, sky sports premier league

Form:

Chelsea are unbeaten in all competitions this season with 12 wins and three draws. They have also kept seven clean sheets in those 15 matches, three of them coming in their last six games.

They have also scored two or more goals in each of their last five matches. In total, that’s 11 of their 15 games this season. And they can score from any position, with 12 of their players having scored at least once this season.

Eden Hazard is their top scorer this season with eight goals, followed by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, whose four goals have come in his last three appearances.

Chelsea have failed to score in only one match this season, away to West Ham who, like Crystal Palace, are London rivals of Chelsea.

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Palace played well to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Arsenal last Sunday but have won only one of their last seven matches, which came against West Brom in the Carabao Cup, and have lost four of them, including 1-0 at Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

They won 3-0 against West Brom, the only time they have scored more than two goals in a game this season. From their 13 games played this season, they have scored no goals on six occasions and just one goal four times.

Away from home in the league this season, Palace have scored more than one goal just once and that was on the opening day of the season against Fulham. They have the Premier League’s leakiest defence.

The Match:

This century in the Premier League, Chelsea have met Crystal Palace six times, with the results being as follows (Chelsea’s score being listed first):

2004/5 – 4-1

2013/14 – 2-1

2014/15 – 1-0

2015/16 – 1-2

2016/17 – 1-2

2017/18 – 2-1

Looking at those stats then both teams to score (20/21) seems likely, as does over 2.5 goals (1/2) and, also, that the game will not be drawn. Chelsea to win and both teams to score is on offer at 17/10, which looks a reasonable price.

In total, those six games have produced 18 goals, with eleven of them having been scored in the first half and seven in the second, three of them in the last ten minutes of play. In three of the six games, no goals were scored in the second half, and, for what it is worth, and in only two of them there were goals scored in each half.

Team News:

Eden Hazard has been nursing a back injury but Chelsea are “hopeful” that he will be fit to play. Pedro was substituted early against Burnley on Sunday but played for part of Chelsea’s unconvincing 3-2 Carabao Cup win at home to Derby.

So should Olivier Giroud, who was nursing a minor injury following the match at Burnley on Sunday and sat out the Derby match. Ethan Ampadu is fit again and available for selection.

Palace have been beset by injuries for most of the season. However things are at last turning around. Missing on Sunday, though, will be Christian Benteke (knee), Joel Ward (muscle injury) and Scott Dann (long-term knee injury). Ward and Dann, though, are reported to be closing in on returns.

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Verdict:

Much as London derbies are one-off affairs that could see form go out of the window, Chelsea ought to be too strong for Palace and a 2-1 (8/1) or 3-1 (9/1) score-line is suggested.

Both teams to score and Chelsea to win (17/10) also looks good.

Wilfried Zaha is likely to be a handful for Palace and he will love the stage being presented to him, especially if Eden Hazard also plays. Hopefully, it will add up to a very enjoyable match.



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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article