Chelsea v Crystal Palace - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

Chelsea Pride Of London

To be played on Saturday 14th December 2013 at 15:00. Venue: Stamford Bridge, London.

Odds: Chelsea 1/5, Draw 13/2, Crystal Palace 20/1

Last season: N/A

Preview & injury news

Jose Mourinho will want to put last week's defeat to Stoke City behind him and get back on track against resurgent Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge this weekend. Last week's defeat to the Potters has left Chelsea in third and five points off the top. But Chelsea seem to be a little more consistent at home having been inconsistent on the road, as they look to get their season back on track. Their 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest to ensure Champions League qualification at the top of their group will have helped to put the setback to Stoke one side. For Crystal Palace, they will be hoping to build on their two wins under Tony Pulis, which means that only goal difference is keeping them in the relegation zone, Chelsea are sure to provide a sterner test than the games against West Ham United and Cardiff City at Selhurst Park.

On the injury front, Chelsea seem to only have Marco Van Ginkel on the sidelines with Oscar and Andrea Schurlle both playing a part in the Champions League in midweek, whilst Palace have their fair share of injury concerns. Jerome Thomas could be considered for selection after an ankle injury whilst Jack Hunt could also be considered after his broken ankle that he suffered just before the start of the season. Dean Moxey is set to miss out because of a hamstring injury he picked up against Cardiff City, whilst Paul McCarthy has a groin problem.

Key stats

Eden Hazard is Chelsea's top scorer in the league with six goals this season

Marouane Chamakh is Crystal Palace's top scorer in the league with three goals this season

Chelsea had 57% possession in their last league match, a 3-2 defeat away to Stoke City

Crystal Palace had 44% possession in their last league match, a 2-0 win at home to Cardiff City.

5 players to watch

Ashley Cole - Jose Mourinho has said for a few weeks that Cole would get his chance to start, and he did in the Champions League win over Steaua Bucharest. Was his performance in midweek enough for him to get a start this weekend?

Marouane Chamakh - He may have been a flop at Arsenal, but Chamakh seems to have found a bit of form under new Palace boss Tony Pulis after scoring in each of his last two games. Can he carry on this little scoring streak at the Bridge?

Demba Ba - In the past two home games, he has found the back of the net, so he is certainly giving his manager a nudge to say that he should be the man leading the Chelsea attack. Whether the manager rewards him for his two goals is another thing entirely.

Barry Bannan - Bannan seems to one of Palace's most effective players in possession, and is another player who seems to enjoy playing under Pulis. Can he find the killer pass to unlock Chelsea?

Oscar - He has been impressive under Jose Mourinho, and has just returned from an injury he picked up, so the Chelsea boss may want him to get back into the swing of things head of the festive period, having also played in midweek. Can he pick up where he left off?

Last time they met

Chelsea 4-1 Crystal Palace, Premier League, March 2005

Chelsea were marching towards their first title in 50 years under Jose Mourinho, but it wasn't all straightforward against a Crystal Palace side battling to beat the drop. Frank Lampard opened the scoring with a stunning strike just before the half-hour mark but Aki Riihilahti equalised just before the break by capitalising on the midfield's error. Joe Cole restored Chelsea's lead ten minutes after the break, before Mateja Kezman struck twice late on, with Kiraly failing to hold his shot for the first goal, and the Dutchman bundling in a shot from close range to round off the scoring.

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