Chelsea host Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon in the early kick-off and three Premier League points going into the international break would be perfect.

The Blues currently sit fourth in the league table behind Leicester City on goal difference, who play fifth-placed Arsenal over the weekend.

Frank Lampard’s outfit are looking like a team that have what it takes to finish in the top four and are scoring goals for fun, but do need to sharpen up defensively.

They welcome a Palace side to Stamford Bridge that are extremely dangerous on the road and have pace on the counter attack.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Chelsea go into the weekend fresh off a remarkable 4-4 draw in the Champions League group stages with Ajax.

Lampard should make three changes to his starting XI for the Palace fixture.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Blues number one Kepa is an obvious pick to continue in net and he should be desperate for a clean sheet. The Spaniard is an impressive goalkeeper, but has conceded seven goals in his last three games.

Reece James

—Replace Cesar Azpilicueta—

James should be one of three changes to the side that starts against Palace and deserves a promotion after his contribution against Ajax. The right-back made quite the impact as a half-time substitute and scored the equaliser in a 4-4 draw. He is the obvious successor to Azpilicueta and he looks ready quicker than many may have thought.

Kurt Zouma

French powerhouse Zouma should continue in the defence and he will have a big role in helping to snuff out the Palace danger on the break. He’s really grown in confidence as a player and is performing well under Lampard.

Fikayo Tomori

Tomori’s rapid pace will be a big help against the likes of Wilfried Zaha and he has to keep his current spot. He has been drafted into the England senior squad once again for the upcoming international break and should be close to a first cap.

Emerson Palmieri

—Replace Marcos Alonso—

Emerson was given the night off against Ajax as he’s sensibly integrated back from injury, but needs to play against Palace. With Alonso’s defensive frailties once again evident in midweek, it’s important that Emerson gets back to his best again soon and builds momentum.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Mateo Kovacic

Chelsea’s decision to sign Kovacic on a permanent basis has turned out to be a masterstroke and he will help dictate play against Palace if he starts. The Croatian is showing his best form in a Blues shirt and surely a first goal is just around the corner.

N’Golo Kante

—Replace Jorginho—

Jorginho’s one-game suspension means he’s a forced change, but what a replacement to have up the sleeve for Lampard. Kante has not been rushed back from his latest injury, but he will be needed against Palace with his energy in the midfield and it will be great for supporters to see him back.

Mason Mount

Mount should continue in the side if fit, but he was forced off with a suspected injury against Ajax. The Englishman was pictured (Football.London) training on Thursday and hopefully he will be available.

 (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)


Chelsea workhorse Willian should continue on the right flank where he’s impressed this season and is proving that the senior players can mix well with the talented youth. He’s not the player stealing the headlines, but is playing an important role on the pitch.

Tammy Abraham

Chelsea goal machine Abraham has to lead the line once again and it would be great for him to recreate his away form at Stamford Bridge. He’s mixing it with the division’s elite in the Premier League scoring charts so far and his aim has to be keep going.

Christian Pulisic

Despite Callum Hudson-Odoi making an impact off the bench against Ajax, for now Pulisic should continue in the XI and the competition between the pair is excellent for the squad. The USA international has really settled now at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea have a talented individual that can beat players for fun one-on-one.

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