Chelsea welcome Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge for a huge London derby as both teams look to bounce back from disappointing performances last weekend.
A win for either Chelsea or Palace will be enough to send them fourth until early evening at minimum.
Timo Werner is a slight doubt for Chelsea after suffering cramp during Tuesday’s Carabao Cup exit to Tottenham on penalties.
Christian Pulisic (hamstring), Billy Gilmour and Hakim Ziyech (both knee) are nearing returns with Pulisic and Ziyech possibly set to be in contention for this match if can prove fitness, whilst Marco van Ginkel (knee) remains a long-term absentee.
Palace could welcome Jeffery Schlupp back after the Ghanaian international missed last week’s lost to Everton with a slight strain.
Loan signing, Michy Batshuayi is ineligible to face his parent club and will consequently sit out this match.
Scott Dann (muscular), Patrick van Anholt (shoulder), Gary Cahill (hamstring), James Tomkins (thigh), Nathan Ferguson (knee) and Connor Wickham (unspecified) remain on sidelines, although Van Anholt and Wickham could return after the international break.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last five matches against Crystal Palace (W5).
- Palace have won two of their last five trips to Stamford Bridge (W2, L3).
- Neither team has scored from the penalty spot in 22 previous Premier League meetings, although Chelsea did miss with their only penalty kick.
- No team has made more interceptions in their opening three games of the new season than Palace’s 48 interceptions.
- Timo Werner is the only Chelsea player to have hit the woodwork once this season.
Chelsea haven’t really made the best of starts to this season with defending continuously proving an issue which West Bromwich Albion totally exposed last weekend, in turn offering Palace hope because the Eagles have made a strong start despite facing two top teams in their opening three league matches.
Saying that, Chelsea did show admirable spirit to fight back and snatch a 3-3 draw at the Baggies so there is definitely promise going forward but they must sort out their defending if want to genuinely challenge for the title.
Roy Hodgson meanwhile continues to scrape the best out of a injury hit Palace side and with a week of preparation unlike Chelsea, I am expecting them to come here and really test the Blues’ defence because if they do then I can see them nicking this if Chelsea aren’t careful.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
Result: Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace