Predicted Chelsea XI to play Crystal Palace - Four changes from Stoke defeat

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

Chelsea will be hoping for a comprehensive response to defeat against Stoke City last weekend when they entertain Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace this Saturday.

It’s been a difficult season for Jose Mourinho and the club so far as the Portuguese coach has tried to work out his best players to use in the league.

However, the Blues are by no means in a bad position, just five points away from Arsenal at the top of the league, a gap which can be overturned very quickly. Chelsea will be looking to cement second place.

Here is the side Mourinho could go with for the game.

GK – Petr Cech

Cech is one of the most experienced and reliable players in Chelsea’s team. He gives the back four confidence to take some defensive risks because they know they have a quality player in behind them who can close out any striker in a one-on-one.

RB – Branislav Ivanovic

Ivanovic has been a fairly consistent player at right-back so far this season for the Blues. He controls that side of the defence very well and has improved in terms of getting forward to provide extra width down the right.

CB – Gary Cahill

Cahill wasn’t at his best against Stoke but the fact this would be John Terry’s third game in a week means Mourinho is likely to bring Cahill back into the side. He’s a good, very solid player who should be determined to star.

CB – David Luiz

Luiz should slot in alongside Cahill in the back four. He’s often criticised for stepping out of the defence too frequently and taking too many risks but he’ll be an important player in terms of helping the side maintain pressure over Palace.

LB – Ashley Cole

Cole’s ability to get down the left hand side and play well defensively doesn’t need to be sold. He’s been one of the club’s most consistent defenders ever since he joined the Blues.

RM – Andre Schurrle

Schurrle’s brace against Stoke means he deserves to start this game and his confidence will be very high at the moment. He played just over 20 minutes in the Champions League in mid-week so he should be very fresh.

DM – Ramires

Ramires has played in front of the back four for most of the season and there’s a good chance he’ll slot nicely into this position. He should be very determined to control that area of the field, ensuring that the defence is never exposed.

CM – Frank Lampard

Lampard’s experience and ability to control a game in the middle of the pitch makes him very important. The only worrying factor is that this match is so soon after the Champions League game against Steaua, although if Chelsea are in control he could be subbed off early.

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AM – Oscar

Oscar has done a very good job in the number ten type role, right at the very top of the midfield. It will be tempting for Mourinho to play Juan Mata here but he’s given Oscar the nod ahead of the Spaniard on plenty of occasions.

LM – Eden Hazard

Hazard should slot in down the left in his normal position. He’s improved a lot in terms of his wide play but he still has that great natural urge to cut inside and rain shots in on goal.

ST – Fernando Torres

Torres was nowhere near his best against Stoke but he remains arguably the best attacking option that Chelsea have. His game has improved a lot this season and he looks well suited to the system that Mourinho always uses.

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