Chelsea’s valiant push for Champions League spots will continue on Tuesday afternoon as they head to nearby south London to take on Crystal Palace.
Chelsea have been in fine form since the restart, with manager Frank Lampard finally getting to choose from a full squad. The Blues have successfully rebuilt, and with great young talent already in the side, and more coming in for next year – Chelsea is a group to watch going into next year. As such, you can imagine the huge emphasis being placed on qualifying for the Champions League, making these final few results so crucial.
For the hosts in Crystal Palace, they aren’t really playing for anything. No longer in a relegation battle, and not quite good enough to move up the standings to challenge for a European spot. Manager Roy Hodgson has not been getting the best from his Eagles of late, and knows that they still have more to offer down the stretch.
Can Palace be motivated enough to throw a wrench into Chelsea’s visions of Europe? Or will the blue machine keep on rolling through Selhurst Park? Read on below to find out our answers to those questions, as well as full team news, a match preview, and betting analysis for Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace.
Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea Betting Odds:
Crystal Palace (+600)
Over 2.5 (-117)
Under 2.5 (-103)
Chelsea -1 (-132)
Crystal Palace +1 (+112)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea Pick:
When these two teams last met, it was a comfortable 2-0 win for Chelsea back at Stamford Bridge. This time around, it’s hard to imagine the game being all that different. It matters so much more for Frank Lampard’s side, and don’t expect his feisty group to slow down for any side.
Though Chelsea are slated to miss a key piece in the midfield in N’Golo Kante, the depth of the squad has improved lately. Look for Jorginho to fill in for Kante, flanked by speedsters Mason Mount and Ross Barkley. That tandem should stretch Palace wide and make them chase the game, trying to keep with their pace out wide.
On the other side, it will be interesting to see what type of lineup Roy Hodgson implements for Crystal Palace. With little to nothing to play for, expect him to perhaps shuffle things up, and give other players a run-through. This could be especially true as well given their poor run of form.
Expect Palace to trot out a 4-3-3 formation, with a focus on not getting broken down. They have a strong core in defense, and a well-structured midfield, but their lack of offense going forward allows teams to take chances against them. Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha, and Andros Townsend haven’t generated anything in weeks, and look for Chelsea to activate some of their defenders for more of an attacking punch forward.
While Palace could turn in a feisty match at Selhurst Park, eventually the talent and skill of the Chelsea lineup should win out. They’re too talented, and Palace proved against Leicester over the weekend, they cannot just defend for 90 minutes.
Chelsea have figured things out defensively, and are firing on all cylinders offensively. Their expected goal metrics since the restart are among the highest in the league, while their opponents continue to linger. Nobody within the Palace defense can stay with the likes of Pulisic or Abraham, and for those reasons, expect Chelsea to comfortably take a high-scoring contest on Tuesday.
Pick: Chelsea 3-1