Chelsea will hope to continue their march to the title when the Premier League resumes tomorrow. The Blues have managed to keep their good form and are only seven wins away from lifting the Premier League title in Antonio Conte’s debut season. They’ll take on Crystal Palace, a team who have resurrected themselves in recent months.
Sam Allardyce’s side have managed to pick up three wins in three games and have kept as many clean sheets. The vital wins on the trot have eased some pressure off Big Sam’s shoulders and with the team playing with confidence now, the fans will hope their side can finish in the top 12 spots which is still a possibility.
Chelsea were surprisingly beaten by Crystal Palace when the two sides faced off at Stamford Bridge last time and there is a chance of a similar result considering Palace’s solid form. Chelsea are likely to enjoy more possession but will have to watch out for Palace’s pace on the counter, something they possess in abundance with the likes of Zaha, Townsend and Benteke in attack.
With some key men being a doubt for the game, it certainly won’t be a straight-forward game for the hosts. Here’s how they could line up for the clash.
Courtois is a slight doubt which might hurt Chelsea’s chances if Palace do get a grip on the game and challenge them. But Conte will hope that Begovic is up for the job which he usually has been when called upon.
He will carry on with three at the back and hence we will see the regular near-indestructible trio of Azpilicueta, Luiz and Cahill. The three of them have formed a dream partnership, something which not many people would have envisaged. They have contributed immensely in their own positions and have been the backbone of the side.
At right wing-back, we might see a surprise selection in Pedro. With Victor Moses a doubt, Conte might go for the jugular and install Pedro who is more than capable of playing in that role and will definitely give them a psychological boost even before the match starts.
On the opposite side, Alonso will line up as usual and the central midfield pairing will be the ever dependable Kanté beside Fabregas and the two of them will be expected to rule the roost in midfield. Kante’s industry coupled with Fabregas’s creativity has proved to be the ideal concoction for the league leaders.
Eden Hazard is a doubt but given that he has got proper rest over the International break, we might see him start right away. Willian is likely to get a chance if Conte goes with an attack-minded line-up and the Brazilian will be eager to turn on the style and put the Italian under pressure to take a call in the next game.
Diego Costa will start up front and his tête-à-tête with Sakho over 90 minutes is something to watch out for!