Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Crystal Palace vs Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).
Crystal Palace will be without loanee Michy Batshauyi for the visit of Chelsea on Saturday with the forward ineligible to face his parent club.
The Belgian scored off the bench at Everton on Monday, but will sit out this fixture and joins fellow striker Connor Wickham on the sidelines after he picked up a slight knock in training.
James McCarthy is available for Roy Hodgson again after a recent groin injury while Nathaniel Clyne (muscle), James Tomkins (eye), Mamadou Sakho (thigh) and James McArthur (calf) are still absent.
Chelsea boast an almost full squad for the Selhurst Park trip, but Thiago Silva will be missing after his red card at home to West Brom last weekend.
N’Golo Kante could start after coming off the bench in Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg win over Porto in Seville.
Christian Pulisic could also be in the mix to start, with the USA forward eyeing full fitness and form.
How to follow
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Jones Knows prediction
Yes, Chelsea were really beaten 5-2 by West Brom last Saturday, their only defeat in 16 games under Thomas Tuchel in all competitions. That defeat can be filed in the freak result folder. It’s worth remembering that under Tuchel, Chelsea had conceded just two goals in their first 14 games under him before last weekend, keeping a clean sheet in each of previous seven. Palace are at their most dangerous when space is offered up on the counter-attack but Tuchel rarely leaves his backline exposed through the middle. This should result in another controlled performance from the west Londoners.
An away win will be a popular selection for accumulators up and down the land – but I would advise ignoring the 1/2 with Sky Bet and concentrate on the Chelsea to win and under 3.5 goals in the match (Chelsea to win 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 or 3-0) at an odds-against price of 11/10. Every win Chelsea have had under Tuchel (11 of them) have been accomplished with the one of the aforementioned scorelines. So if you fancy the away win, it’s certainly the way to go rather than just simply take a very skinny price.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-1
BETTING ANGLE: Chelsea to win and under 3.5 goals (11/10 with Sky Bet)
Last time out…
- Crystal Palace have lost their last six Premier League matches against Chelsea, their worst-ever losing run against the Blues in league football.
- Chelsea have won eight of their last 10 away Premier League matches against Crystal Palace (L2), with those eight wins coming under seven different managers (Hoddle, Gullit, Mourinho x2, Hiddink, Conte, Sarri & Lampard).
- None of the last 19 Premier League meetings between Crystal Palace and Chelsea have ended as a draw – only Newcastle vs Spurs between August 1999 and December 2010 has had a longer run of games without a drawn game in the competition (21).
- Chelsea have won 1.82 points-per-game in Premier League London derbies, the best ratio amongst sides from the capital. In contrast, only Fulham (0.81) have averaged fewer points-per-game in such matches than Crystal Palace (0.93).
- Chelsea are yet to lose on the road under Thomas Tuchel in the Premier League (W3 D2) – the only Blues manager to avoid defeat in his first six away games in the competition was Felipe Scolari (unbeaten in first 10).
- Crystal Palace have kept five clean sheets in the Premier League at Selhurst Park since the turn of the year, two more than in the entirety of 2020 (3). The Eagles will be looking to keep four consecutive home shutouts in the top-flight for the first time since April 1992 (5).
- Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has lost six consecutive Premier League matches against Chelsea. The only opponent he has lost seven consecutive games against as a manager in the competition is Tottenham (between November 2011 – September 2019).
Pitch to Post Preview: Tottenham vs Man Utd and a decisive month for Spurs; Inconsistent Liverpool, and West Ham vs Leicester’s key top-four clash
In this week’s Pitch to Post Preview Podcast Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour who explains why April could be a decisive month for Tottenham’s next steps as a club, while Sky Sports football writer Jack Wilkinson reacts to Man Utd’s Europa League win and assesses their chances of getting some revenge for their big defeat to Spurs earlier this season.
Sky Sports features writer Nick Wright is also on the show, looking back at two contrasting performances from Liverpool and the reasons behind their inconsistency, as well as previewing a big top-four race clash between surprise package West Ham and Leicester. He also makes his Pitch for the weekend about an important game at the other end of the table between Burnley and Newcastle.