A busy run of fixtures come to an end with this lunchtime kickoff against surging Crystal Palace, who have two out of their first three games, including against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have just 1 win in 4, with back-to-back dramatic draws in the last seven days, first against West Brom at The Hawthorns, where we came back from a three-goal half-time deficit, then against Spurs at their new stadium in the League Cup, where we gave up a late equalizer before losing on penalties.
So, it’s not been a great week, but we have a chance to end it on a good note and head into the two-week international break on a high note and with seven points from our first four games, two more than last season.
Date / Time: Saturday, October, 2020, 12.30 BST; 7:30am EDT; 5pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Forecast: Heavy rain, and I don’t mean the video game
Referee: Michael Oliver (on pitch); Andre Marriner (VAR)
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BT Sport Live (UK); Peacock (USA); HotStar (India); DStv Now (NGA) — Peacock is NBC’s pushy new streaming service (replacing and expanding on NBC Gold), which Xfinity customers get for free. Others have to pay $5/month or $50/year ($10 & $100 for the premium ad-free version). Comcast is the parent company of NBC and an investor in Vox/SB Nation. Here’s our affiliate link if you want to make our corporate overlords happy.
Chelsea team news: The big news is that Christian Pulisic has been declared fit enough to sit on the bench and play a small part, though hopefully we won’t need to rely on him straight away to get the win. Surprisingly, Hakim Ziyech isn’t as far along even though he had been back in training already, before Pulisic.
Everyone else should be fit and available — that is unless they’re already one foot out the door like Antonio Rüdiger and Marcos Alonso. (Maybe.) The transfer window closes on Monday, so we should expect a busy weekend ahead.
Crystal Palace team news: Former Chelsea players Gary Cahill and Patrick van Aanholt are injured while current Chelsea player Michy Batshuayi is ineligible to play as per the Premier League’s loan rules. Palace will also be without James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp, and Connor Wickham, though of those, only Schlupp has played any part so far this season. New signing Eberechi Eze got the start in his stead last week.
Palace’s good start has been keyed, unsurprisingly, by a good start to the season from Wilf Zaha, who has three of their five goals. He has three goals (and two assists) in his last seven games against Chelsea. If we can stop him, we have a good chance to making it six wins in a row against Palace.
Previously: Chelsea won by the odd goal in five the last time we met, back in July during Project Restart. Giroud, Pulisic, and Abraham with the goals, with a wild finish as we somehow hung on to all three points.