The Premier League is back! Club football returns this weekend, and Chelsea are away from home. The Blues travel across London to play Crystal Palace.
Before the international break, Chelsea were 1-0 losers at home to Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal of the game to haunt his former club on his return to Stamford Bridge. That result sees Chelsea sit in fourth place in the Premier League table.
Saturday’s opponents see themselves at the opposite end of the table. Currently bottom without a single point, Palace are yet to register their first league goal of the campaign – which probably means they will score their first against Chelsea this weekend. Their poor form has seen the dismissal of Frank de Boer, who lasted around 10 weeks at Selhurst Park. He was replaced by former England manager Roy Hodgson, who has also struggled at the helm.
Chelsea are likely to be without two key players for their trip to Palace. Both N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata seem likely to miss the game through injury. After serving his three-match suspension, David Luiz will probably start in the heart of the back three, meaning Andreas Christensen will drop to the bench. Despite bringing on Willian after Morata was injured, Michy Batshauyi will start up front for the Blues. Danny Drinkwater remains doubtful for this fixture, as the Englishman awaits his debut for the club.
Elsewhere, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha is in a race to be fit for Saturday’s fixture. The Ivorian has declared himself fit for the game, but it is unclear whether he will start. Palace’s attacking woes may continue, as their two senior strikers – Connor Wickham and Christian Benteke – remain injured. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ineligible to play against his parent club, and will play no part against Chelsea.
This game is huge for both clubs. Palace are yet to record a goal or point so far this season and will want to kickstart their season, and claim a huge scalp in beating their London rivals. Chelsea, however, will want to bounce back from their defeat to Manchester City and continue their quest in regaining the Premier League title.