Selhurst Park Stadium will play host to the London derby between the hosts Crystal Palace and their West London neighbors, Chelsea, on Saturday at 15:00 GMT as the English Premier League returns from the international break.
Chelsea will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in the league while Palace will be looking to end a three-match winless run.
Can Palace Get Back to Winning Ways?
Patrick Vieira has seen his side go three matches without tasting victory – they have lost once and drawn twice in this run. Against Chelsea, his side will need no motivation because it is a London derby.
Palace will focus on their defensive solidity to keep Chelsea out. They will mainly look to defend compactly to ensure that they do not provide gaps in between the lines for Chelsea attacking players to exploit.
Vieira will also focus on giving his side the motivation and courage they need to play out of pressure and pose an attacking threat to the Chelsea rearguard.
Can Potter Make a Winning Start to his Chelsea Reign?
With Chelsea suffering from inconsistency in the league this season, Graham Potter will be looking to steady the ship and get the Blues playing consistently at a high level to challenge at the top.
The clash with Palace presents Potter’s first Premier League match since making the move from Brighton. He will be eager for a high-energy and effective performance from his side to take the three points.
The focus against Palace will be on implementing an effective press high up the pitch, retention of the ball, and passing fast enough to overcome the defensive solidity of Palace.
This will have to be combined with a good defensive structure and alertness to deal with the counter-attacking threat.
Patrick Vieira’s men have won once in the last five outings in the English Premier League. This triumph came in the home clash against Aston Villa, which ended in an impressive 3-1 win.
In this run, Palace have drawn three times and lost once. The three draws came in football matches against Liverpool at Anfield (1-1), Brentford at home (1-1), and Newcastle at St. James’ Park (0-0).
The one loss in the run of five fixtures came way at the Etihad Stadium where Vieira’s men lost an enthralling 4-2 match.
The focus for Palace will be performing well against a big six side on Saturday and taking something from the game.
The Blues have been inconsistent over the last five outings in the Premier League. They have won two times, lost twice, and drawn once in this run. These results mean that Chelsea are sitting seventh on the table, some eight points off the pace set by Arsenal at the top of the log.
The two victories in this run came in Chelsea’s home clashes with Leicester (2-1) and West Ham (2-1). The draw came in the 2-2 result against Tottenham. The two defeats came in fixtures away from home against Leeds United (3-0) and Southampton (2-1).
Potter will be looking to change this form and have the Blues playing and winning consistently to challenge at the top.
Possible Starting Lineups
Guaita; T. Mitchell, M. Guehi, J. Andersen, J. Ward; J. Schlupp, C. Doucoure, E. Eze; W. Zaha, J. Mateta, J. Ayew
Arrizabalaga; C. Azpilicueta, T. Silva, M. Cucurella, R. Reece; M. Mount, Jorginho, M. Covacic; R. Sterling, P. Aubameyang, K. Havertz
Players to Watch
The 29-year-old Ivory Coast international has started this season well with 4 goals in five Premier League outings for Patrick Vieira’s side.
Zaha is increasingly the talisman of the Palace side this season. His pace and goal-scoring will be important for Palace as they are likely to be on the back foot against Chelsea.
The 27-year-old English International has registered three goals in six appearances for Chelsea this term. Sterling has been effective up front, giving the blues the cutting edge they need.
His pace, dribbling, and movement in the final third will be crucial for Chelsea to break down Palace on Saturday.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Prediction
Palace will seek to be compact and solid in the defensive shape, and they will use quick transitions to pose an attacking threat.
Chelsea will boss possession and dominate the midfield areas. They will seek to use their passing to create chances.
Chelsea will win this match and take all three points.