Crystal Palace and Chelsea have produced some fascinating battle over the years and today is derby day without the fans because the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic that forced the football authority to enforce the social distancing rule.
However, it promises to be a great game as the Eagles will hope to remain unbeaten in London derbies after coming out with success in their previous three, however, if they lose it will mean that every London side will have lost a home derby in the premier league for the first time since 2012/13.
Frank Lampard’s Blues will be desperate to get the victory as they look to seal UEFA Champions League qualification for next season with Manchester United, Wolves and Arsenal breathing down their neck.
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Both teams have faced each other 21 times with Chelsea winning 15 times, Palace four and just two draws.
Interestingly, none of their last 17 Premier League match have finished in a draw, with the Blues winning 13 to Palace’s four.
Chelsea have won four of their last five Premier League matches and have scored at least twice in nine of their last 10 fixtures, so they head into this match as top favourites.
Crystal Palace defender, Martin Kelly has returned to training after a calf injury but he remains a doubt for this match, same for James Tomkins but Jeffrey Schlupp remains out.
Lampard confirmed that French midfielder N’Golo Kante remains out with a hamstring and will miss the trip to Selhurst Park, joining the likes of Mateo Kovacic (Achilles) and Fikayo Tomori (muscle problem) on the sidelines.
Patrick van Aanholt vs Willian
Former Chelsea defender, Van Aanholt will have his hands full trying to keep in-form Willian quiet throughout the encounter.
Against Watford, Willian became just the sixth player to score a penalty in three consecutive Premier League appearances. The Brazilian can now become the first to make it four in a row.
Wilfred Zaha vs César Azpilicueta
Former Manchester United Zaha is the biggest threat going forward for the Eagles and his battle with Azpilicueta will be interesting. The Spaniard has played the most matches for Chelsea this season and has the highest assist for the club with six but Zaha won’t be an easy opponent.
Crystal Paace: Guaita; van Aanholt, Scott Dann, Sakho, Cahill; Milivojevic,Kouyaté; Townsend, Zaha; Ayew, Benteke.
Chelsea: Kepa; Rüdiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Reece James; Barkley, Mount, Jorghino, Pulisic, Willian; Abraham.
Officials for the game
Referee: David Coote. Assistants: Neil Davies, Nick Hopton.
Fourth official: James Linington. Replacement official: Andrew Laver.
VAR: Peter Bankes. Assistant VAR: Ian Hussin.
Crystal Palace 2-2 Chelsea