Chelsea resumed the unerring ways of Tuchel-ball midweek in our 2-0 win over FC Porto in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, but the result that matters most right now as far as our Premier League prospects are concerned, is last week’s whopper of a 5-2 defeat at home to relegation-bound West Bromwich Albion.
The loss may not have knocked our confidence levels too much, but it did knock us out of the top four, with West Ham continuing their excellent season and taking our place. The Hammers have a tough task in Leicester City this weekend (and Spurs, just below us, also face tough opposition in Manchester United), which gives us an excellent chance to immediately climb back up.
But to do that, we have to win at Selhurst Park, which has proven a bit difficult at times in recent seasons, including defeats in 2013-14, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
Date / Time: Saturday, April 10, 2021, 17.30 BST; 12:30pm EDT; 10pm IST
Venue: Selhurst Park, London, England
Referee: Michael Oliver (on pitch); Mike Dean (VAR)
Forecast: Cool, rainy
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBC, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live (USA); Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Crystal Palace team news: Roy Hodgson’s dealing with a lengthy injury list, but neither Wilfried Zaha nor Eberechi Eze are on it, and they pose the clearest danger to the opposition. Neither is Christian Benteke, who’s been turning the clocks back lately, and now leads the team in goals scored. He has two of their last four goals scored in the league. And neither are former Chelsea defenders Gary Cahill — still going strong — and Patrick van Aanholt.
Palace are sitting quite comfortably in mid-table, nine points above the drop zone and nine points off of Everton at the back of the top-four tussle. Only four teams have conceded more goals than they have, but they are unbeaten in four of their last five. Michy Batshuayi grabbed a late equalizer in their previous match, though the Chelsea loanee won’t be able to face his parent club.
Chelsea team news: Everyone’s fit and other than the suspended Thiago Silva, everyone’s available. But with the second leg against Porto coming up on Tuesday already, Tuchel might yet again turn to his large squad to rotate and inspire. Could that maybe include some playing time for Tammy Abraham, even?
The clean sheet against Porto was certainly a welcome return to form, but the lack of consistent cutting edge in front of goal remains a concern. Chelsea have still yet to score more than two goals in a match under Tuchel.
But, the number that matters in this one is three, as in all three points please.
Previously: Chelsea beat Palace 3-2 during Project Restart last summer, with Tammy Abraham netting what would eventually prove to be the match-winner.