Stamford Bridge - Premier League
Crystal Palace are the visitors to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, as the Eagles look to put a dent in Chelsea’s excellent start to the season. The Blues remain unbeaten in their opening 10 matches, and are only two points behind early leaders Manchester City and Liverpool.
Both teams won their home game against the other last season 2-1, while that was also the score as Palace won at Stamford Bridge in both of the preceding campaigns. Chelsea went 12 games unbeaten against Palace from 1990 to 2014, but the Eagles have won four of the last nine.
Eden Hazard should return to the Chelsea team after missing their last two matches, while Olivier Giroud faces a late fitness test due to muscle fatigue. Pedro looks likely to miss out after going off injured early in the Blues’ victory over Burley last weekend, although Ethan Ampadu is back in training and could feature on the bench.
The visitors are set to be without three players for this difficult assignment in west London. Christian Benteke, Scott Dann and Joel Ward are all injured, while Roy Hodgson has a decision to make on whether to continue with Jordan Ayew up front or bring Wilfried Zaha into a more central position.
Chelsea v Crystal Palace Preview and Predictions
Things have gone better than expected at the start of Maurizio Sarri’s tenure at Chelsea, and the Blues look like mounting a serious title challenge this year. Crystal Palace meanwhile are struggling compared to where they were expected to be this season, and they start this game just three points above the bottom three.
This game has all the hallmarks of a home win. Chelsea have only dropped points at Stamford Bridge against Manchester United and Liverpool so far this term, while Palace have lost their last two away games at Bournemouth and Everton.
The Eagles are without a win in their last five Premier League matches, but they are 12/1 to put that right on Sunday. That doesn’t look like happening though, with the home win surely on the cards at 2/7. Chelsea have won seven of their first 10 games, and they’re in good nick after beating Burnley 4-0 last weekend.
The draw is priced at 11/2, but even that seems like one to avoid here. If Sarri’s side are going to be in the mix come the end of the season, they can’t afford to drop points at home against teams struggling as Palace are.
Chelsea to win to nil at 11/10
The hosts will look to dominate possession and Palace’s chances will be few and far between.
Hazard to score first at 10/3
The Belgian already has seven goals this season and he’ll be looking to make his mark on his return to the side.