Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes his side now have the courage and determination to face stern tests in comparison to his side which wilted towards the end of last season.
That 1-0 defeat to Palace at Selhurst Park prompted a telling reaction from the Portuguese coach as he wrote down his side’s specific problem on a piece of paper.
Containing strong language, it referred to his side’s lack of mettle.
Fast forward six-and-a-half months, and the current self-belief and poise inside Stamford Bridge tells a far different story.
The Blues travel to South London top of the Premier League table, having won six out of their first seven matches and showing a ruthless streak most associated with their boss.
When asked what the difference is between this season and last, Mourinho decided to hark back to that infamous statement last March by clarifying what trait his side now possess.
"I think we have balls now. We have more personality to impose our game. We cannot say now we’ll have, again, a very good season against the top five. But I don’t want our results against the bottom half of the table to be as negative as last season," he is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
The West Londoners certainly do have more personality to impose their game as the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa have added panache, audacity and temperament.
Mourinho will be heading to Palace in search of putting last season’s disappointment behind him and he has made sure to remind his players of the challenge ahead.
“Palace away is the kind of ‘easy’ game for me to analyse, easy in the sense I know clearly why I lost last season," he said. "If I know, the players know. We have to try not to repeat the same bad performance we had last season.’’