Three Crystal Palace players who could cause Chelsea problems today

Alan Pardew

Can Crystal Palace get a result at Chelsea today? Here are three players who could cause problems for the defending champions.

Crystal Palace have scored six goals and picked up six points from their opening three games as Alan Pardew's side have made a solid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

The Eagles finished 10th last season, their highest-ever Premier League position having cemented themselves in mid-table the season before after an early scare.

Palace have some exciting and talented attacking players who should be looking to further expose the Chelsea defence at Stamford Bridge later today.

The seven goals Jose Mourinho's side have conceded through three games is only fewer than the eight Sunderland have conceded. That's 2.33 goals against per game compared to 0.84 last season when they won the title conceding the fewest goals.

John Terry is suspended but after Mourinho replaced him with Kurt Zouma at half-time in the 3-0 thrashing at Manchester City in fear the pace of Sergio Agüero would expose his captain, perhaps Terry's absence won't be such a bad thing with the speed that today's opposition have on offer.

Crystal Palace could potentially line up with Wilfried Zaha on the right, Jason Puncheon in the middle and Yannick Bolasie on the left of a 4-2-3-1 formation. Chelsea have not dealt very well with pace at all to start the season.

Here's where Crystal Palace should look to hurt Chelsea:

Yannick Bolasie vs Branislav Ivanovic

Chelsea have had real problems defending down their own right wing this season. Branislav Ivanovic has been torn apart by Jefferson Montero, Raheem Sterling and Callum McManaman this season.

Montero caused real threat down the left for Swansea City in their season opener, winning four corners off the Serbian, getting in some positions to put good crosses in, and also forcing a good stop from Asmir Begovic at his near post from close range after getting the better of the Chelsea right-back.

Most of Manchester City's successful attacks in the opening half hour versus Chelsea came down their left wing as Ivanovic and Ramires failed to deal with the early league leader's attacks. It eventually led to the breakthrough. The game was over 10 minutes from time when Vincent Kompany pealed away from Ivanovic to head City into a 2-0 lead.

Last weekend, West Brom's two goals came from McManaman crosses after the wide man had beaten Ivanovic. West Brom had been working on it in training to good effect. McManaman also turned the defender inside out in the final 15 minutes before curling his shot narrowly wide at 2-3.

Bolasie hasn't made much of an impact to start the new season and Bakary Sako made his debut and scored last weekend in place of the DR Congo international. I'd be surprised if Pardew doesn't recall Bolasie for this match with his ability and penchant for running at defenders – he can certainly have the beating of Ivanovic in this one.

Yohan Cabaye vs Nemanja Matic

Still a rock in front of the Chelsea back four, but Swansea found a way to beat Nemanja Matic in the opening game. Jonjo Shelvey, who played in front of the Swans' defensive line in their 4-2-3-1 formation was playing through balls from deep to striker Bafetimbi Gomis.

The first success led to the French striker spurning a golden one-on-one opportunity by taking too long to get his shot away, allowing John Terry to make a last ditch challenge. The second successful through ball from Shelvey, however, led to the sending off of Thibaut Courtois.

No doubt Yohan Cabaye and the Crystal Palace team will have been viewing that footage over the past week in an attempt to replicate it. It will be interesting to see who Pardew selects up front as his target man. But as well as a striker, the pace of Bolasie and Zaha down the wings, and Puncheon in the number 10 post, Crystal Palace have plenty of options for Cabaye to play in behind.

Scott Dann from set pieces

Manchester City fought off any Chelsea equaliser in the final 10 minutes in game week two when Vincent Kompany headed home from a corner. The absence of John Terry's positioning, aerial ability and organisation, particularly from set pieces, is huge.

Gary Cahill is poor at man-marking and Ivanovic hardly sticks to his. It's a good job Chelsea have the likes of Diego Costa and Matic back there to help out, but Crystal Palace can certainly look to exploit the weaknesses of the defending champions from set pieces.

Scott Dann nodded home a Puncheon corner last weekend before later heading the ball to Bakary Sako to thump home in their 2-1 win over Aston Villa. Damien Delaney also scored from a well-worked corner at Norwich City in their opening game.

I am confident Mourinho will get the job done again today, as many are expecting, but Crystal Palace certainly have the talent in their ranks to cause Chelsea a scare this afternoon.

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