After Consecutive Mediocre Performances, Will Chelsea Deliver a Champions’ Show Tonight?

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Chelsea will be looking to win their first home match of the season, after suffering disappointing results in their first two matches, Jose Mourinho’s side managed to recover some ground with a win against West Brom last weekend. Chelsea will be up against an inform Crystal Palace side who have become quite a threat off late on counter attacks. Crystal Palace have registered two wins out of three matches, and manager Alan Pardew must be pleased with how his team is responding to his tactics. Fans will want their side to continue the good form and achieve a second successive top-half finish.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

The star performer last weekend was former Barcelone forward Pedro who secured a permanent move to Stamford Bridge last week. He opened his Chelsea account within the first 20 minutes and assisted Costa for Chelsea’s second. Jose Mourinho will be extremely pleased to see how his new recruit linked with Hazard and Fabregas throughout the match. His positional sense and ball playing ability will be essential if Chelsea are to retain the title.

The Eagles have scored six goals in their three matches till now and put another four past Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night. However, Pardew will be worried about tired legs as his side needed extra time to beat Shrewsbury Town. Crystal Palace could be tricky opponents for the Blues due to the pace they down the wings which can trouble the Chelsea defense.

Pedro

Chelsea will be without their captain John Terry who was sent off against West Brom, which means a return to the starting line-up for Gary Cahill. Oscar still remains on the sidelines due to an injury, Pedro is expected to keep his place in the starting XI after an impressive debut.

Meanwhile, Sako is expected to start for Palace after his match-winning performance against Aston Villa. Julián Speroni won’t return until after the international break so Alex McCarthy continues in goal. Mile Jedinak is out with a hamstring injury while the likes of Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh are still Unavailable due to injury.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Costa

Crystal Palace

Predicted Crystal Palace XI: McCarthy, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Square, McArthur, Cabaye, Zaha, Sako, Puncheon and Murray

Predicted score: Chelsea versus Crystal Palace: 3-1

Key stats

This will be Jose Mourinho’s 100th Premier League home game in charge of Chelsea. He has won 76 and lost just one of the previous 99.

Crystal Palace have conceded exactly one goal in each of their last seven Premier League away games.

Alan Pardew has won four of his last seven Barclays Premier League matches as a coach against Chelsea (W4 L3). The three defeats and one victory in that run came at Stamford Bridge.

Anurag Singh

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