Match preview for Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
Chelsea will take on Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon and it will be the the second London derby of the first round of the new season after Brentford-Arsenal on Friday. The team from Stamford Bridge will try to become Premier League champions once again this season after a 5 years break.
Chelsea already started the new season on Wednesday when they faced Villarreal in the European Supercup in a game played in Belfast which they managed to win after a penalty shootout(6-5). After 120 minutes the score was 1-1, with Ziyech scoring for the Blues. Unfortunately for him he also suffered a serious injury at the end of the first half and was replaced by Pulisic. Thomas Tuchel used the Supercup game to give minutes to Mount, Jorginho and Azpilicueta who returned later to preseason training after the European Championship. But even with them on the pitch we are still not gonna see the best possible Chelsea starting eleven and that’s because Romelu Lukaku Chelsea’s record signing(115 million euros) has arrived in London on Wednesday night and signed a 5 year contract on Thursday but he will need a few days to get in form. Thomas Tuchel is looking forward to having Lukaku in his team as he sees him as the man who can score 20+ goals for the team in the Premier League. Last season Chelsea’s top goalscorer was Jorginho with 7 goals. Besides the Villarreal game Chelsea played 4 preseason games his summer the most important ones against their London rivals Arsenal(2-1) and Tottenham (2-2). The team from Stamford Bridge is hoping at a positive start, in the last 4 Premier League season Chelsea lost two times in the first round.
Crystal Palace starts a new era as Patrick Vieira replaced Roy Hodgson as manager. The Frenchman is an Arsenal legend as he played for them for 9 seasons and won three Premier League titles. The new manager will not have an easy task but the team’s star player Wilfred Zaha was kept by the club and he will very likely be an asset for Patrick Vierira. In defence Palace let go players like Gary Cahill and Mamadou Sakho and replaced them with younger players, Marc Guéhi Joachim Andersen, players that cos them more than 35 millions. Last season defence was a problem for Crystal Palace as they conceded no less than 66 goals, their poorest defensive record since their return to the Premier League 8 years ago. Patrick Vieira is coming to win point or points at Stamford Bridge, especially since he never lost as a player against Chelsea in the Premier League( 6 wins and 4 losses). Vieira is the player with the most games without defeat against Chelsea. Crystal Palace won their last two preseason games against Reading and Watford with the same score 3-1. Eberechi Eze, the youngster who impressed last season is injured. Low odds of playing has Michael Olise as well the midfielder who was transferred from Reading for 10 million euros.
Chelsea won 16 of the last 20 Premier League games against Crystal Palace, including the last 7. The previous 4 head to head games between the two teams at Stamford Bridge ended with Chelsea’s win and 11-2 goal difference. Crystal Palace failed to find the back of the net on their last two trips to Stamford Bridge.