Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Soccer

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Soccer While not necessarily in cruise control just yet, Chelsea stole a victory against Stoke with a late winner that did not speak to the urgency you’d expect out of a title-leading team not yet having won it all. Antonio Conte will certainly be looking to rouse the best challenge from his men against a lowly opponent, and it pays to be clinical, ten points clear of second or not. Eden Hazard’s fitness is a late issue to watch heading into this one.

On the other side, Crystal Palace have certainly turned up the intensity of late. With their backs to the wall and staring down relegation, Sam Allardyce’s squad have reeled off three consecutive shutout victories, with Mamadou Sakho playing a key role in leading from the back. Though sitting only 16th at the moment, not by any means out of danger yet, Palace have played with confidence. They will be looking for a stumble from the league leaders. With Chelsea having opened up a 10-point advantage at the top of the Premier League table with as many games to go, it would take a collapse of calamitous proportions for Antonio Conte’s side to throw away the title from here. They’ll look to move a step closer to lifting the trophy on Saturday, when they welcome Sam Allardyce’s resurgent Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge.

A few weeks ago, Palace looked in serious trouble; however, replacing Alan Pardew with Allardyce proved a masterstroke, and three straight victories have seen the Eagles move four points clear of the bottom three. They can’t ease up yet, but things are certainly looking a lot more comfortable than they have for a while.

They’re looking to become only the second team to take points off Chelsea at home this season. The Eagles did manage to pull off a surprise victory the last time they visited Stamford Bridge in August 2015, with Joel Ward netting a late winner after Radamel Falcao had canceled out Bakary Sako’s opener. A repeat result looks unlikely, but with Palace in good form, their confidence will be high.

Chelsea are in the enviable position of having no certain absentees; however, Thibaut Courtois, Victor Moses, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and John Terry all face late fitness tests. Palace will be without the injured Jonathan Benteke, Connor Wickham, Mathieu Flamini and Pape Souaré, while Loïc Rémy isn’t permitted to play against his parent club. Steve Mandanda, Patrick van Aanholt and James McArthur are all doubtful.

While not necessarily in cruise control just yet, Chelsea stole a victory against Stoke with a late winner that did not speak to the urgency you’d expect out of a title-leading team not yet having won it all. Antonio Conte will certainly be looking to rouse the best challenge from his men against a lowly opponent, and it pays to be clinical, ten points clear of second or not. Eden Hazard’s fitness is a late issue to watch heading into this one.

On the other side, Crystal Palace have certainly turned up the intensity of late. With their backs to the wall and staring down relegation, Sam Allardyce’s squad have reeled off three consecutive shutout victories, with Mamadou Sakho playing a key role in leading from the back. Though sitting only 16th at the moment, not by any means out of danger yet, Palace have played with confidence. They will be looking for a stumble from the league leaders.

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