Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea

Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea

Graham Potter will finally take charge of his first Premier League game for Chelsea on Saturday afternoon, as Crystal Palace welcome their capital counterparts to Selhurst Park for a London derby.

The Blues entered the international break sitting seventh in the table, while the Eagles are nine places and four points worse off than their upcoming opponents.

A reunion with former loan star Conor Gallagher awaits Crystal Palace this weekend, and how Patrick Vieira could do with a player of his mould right now, as the Eagles seek just their second win of the league season in Saturday’s derby.

Nick Pope and Vicente Guaita stole the show as Newcastle United and Crystal Palace played out an action-packed 0-0 draw before the international break, although the PGMOL have since admitted that a mistake was made in ruling out a Magpies winner in the dying embers.

Newcastle’s goal was disallowed for a perceived foul by Joe Willock on Guaita, when in reality the ex-Arsenal man was pushed into the Spaniard by Tyrick Mitchell, and Palace fans would have been counting their lucky stars that they came away from St James’ Park with a point.

That has done little to improve the Eagles’ 16th-placed standing in the embryonic rankings – hovering just two points above the relegation line – but they do have a game in hand on most of the teams around them and have only suffered one defeat in their last six in all tournaments.

After ending the 2021-22 Premier League season with five consecutive clean sheets at Selhurst Park, Palace have conceded in each of their three top-flight home games so far this term – a defensive downturn which Chelsea and their new manager bounce will seek to take advantage of.

It has been a rather long time coming, with the death and state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II leading to a wave of postponements up and down the British Isles, but Potter will finally be in the dugout for a Premier League game with Chelsea this weekend.

Thomas Tuchel’s successor has had bountiful time to get acquainted with his squad of superstars having only taken charge of one game since his appointment was confirmed, drawing 1-1 with Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League as the Blues remain winless in Europe.

Potter has taken the reins at a Chelsea side who have only posted a measly two wins from their last seven games in all competitions, and a total of 10 points from six Premier League outings leaves the West London club languishing in seventh place in the table – eight points adrift of league leaders Arsenal having played a game fewer.

There are unsurprisingly some concerns that Potter may be a small fish in a big pond, and the ex-Brighton & Hove Albion boss is under immediate pressure to reverse a trend that has seen Chelsea lose each of their last three away games in all competitions.

The visitors have also notched up just two goals on the road in the 2022-23 season but can take some comfort in the fact that they have won each of their last nine league games against Crystal Palace, and their penchant for London derbies is apparent – winning eight of their last nine capital clashes on their travels.

Crystal Palace Premier League form:
Crystal Palace form (all competitions):
Chelsea Premier League form:
Chelsea form (all competitions):

We say: Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea
Chelsea are still clicking into gear under Potter, and Selhurst Park is not an easy place to visit for any side, even if Palace’s defensive resilience at home is no longer what it was.

Vieira’s side may feel that there is no better time to end their dismal losing streak against Chelsea, but a steadfast Potter-led defence can hold firm as the Blues’ attackers nick an all-important goal to kickstart a potential revival.

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