Frank Lampard’s quest for a top-four finish in his first season as Premier League manager continues this Tuesday as they travel across to Selhurst Park to face Roy Hodgson’s Palace in what is their second London-derby in two weeks.
The Eagles who are currently on a three-game losing run enter this tie as outsiders. Their task is not made easier with the fact that they have conceded eight times in those three games without recording a single goal.
This match offers perhaps another opportunity for Roy Hodgson to end such woeful form and put themselves once again in running for a top ten finish.
Chelsea meanwhile revived their quest for Champions League football next season by brushing aside struggling Watford in their last outing. The Blues remain on course for a top-four finish but will feel that they must not drop any more points as in-form Manchester United continue to march up the table.
James Tomkins and Martin Kelly remain injury absentees for Roy Hodgson while Jeffery Schlupp is not expected back until later in the month as he remains out with a knock. Christian Benteke is back in training but may not be fit enough to feature in this game.
Frank Lampard meanwhile might be without Ngolo Kante who limped off with a muscle injury in their last outing. The French man is unlikely to feature in this fixture while Fikayo Tomori and Kovacic are other injury absentees.
Head to head
Chelsea has beaten Crystal Palace in each of their last four meetings in the league. The reverse fixture ended 2:0 in Chelsea’s favour.
Crystal Palace‘s last five competitive games: WWWLL
Chelsea’s last five competitive games: LLDDW
Crystal Palace dreadful form in the past two weeks makes this tie an easy one for a Chelsea side beginning to click in the attack.
The hosts have found goals difficult to come by in recent times as each of their last three games have ended without any goals for them. The Eagles have scored just 28 times in the league this season. In fact, only Norwich (25 goals) have scored fewer times than Roy’s side.
The only reason Roy Hodgson’s side are perhaps not in a thick relegation fight is that their backline has been relatively watertight as they have conceded 40 times, a record better than their visitors who sit in 4th.
Matches involving them have predominately been low scoring encounters as 70% of their games this season have featured less than 2.5 goals.
In fact, only one side have found the net in seven of their last ten games at Selhurst Park. Only one game in that period featured over 2.5 goals.
Before their last defeat, Chelsea were on a five-game unbeaten run away from home in the league. They remain one of the most formidable sides on the road this season.
With their attack coming into shape, they will be looking to exert their dominance in this tie. The Blues have scored at least two times in each of the PL games they have played since after the restart.
Four of the league goals the visitors have scored since the restart have come through either a penalty or a direct free kick as three of their last four games have featured penalties. In that period they have managed only one clean sheet while the ten goals they have scored in that period have been evenly spread across both halves.
Both teams to score/Yes @ 1/1
Chelsea to win both halves @ 13/10
Under 3.5 Goals @ 4/11