FYP Preview: Crystal Palace vs Chelsea (18/10/14)

Written by Andy Bloss

Saturday 18th October, 2014. Kick-off 3pm. Selhurst Park, SE25

Crystal Palace are back on the road this weekend as they travel north to Hull. The Eagles are looking for their third straight win under Neil Warnock who is unbeaten in the Premier League since he returned to the club in the summer with two wins and two draws. 

Team news

dann

Crystal Palace will be hoping to bounce back from their disappointing defeat against Hull two weeks ago as they take on league leaders Chelsea this weekend. 

Neil Warnock's team suffered a major blow against Hull City with Scott Dann picking up an injury which will keep him out for the next few weeks. 

The influential defender has been a key player in Palace's defence and the Eagles missed him after he went off against the Tigers. 

It is expected Adrian Mariappa will take his place in the heart of defence although Brede Hangeland is also an option. 

Apart from Dann, Warnock has a full squad to choose from and it is expected that the team will stay unchanged. 

Palace will be hoping for a repeat of last season's brilliant win against Chelsea at Selhurst Park last season but Jose Mourinho will hope his team learned their lessons from the game. 

Chelsea look formidable this season with Spanish striker Diego Costa leading the line convincingly having netted nine times already this season. 

Mourinho's team could be without winger Schurrle after the German player missed his country's last qualifying game with a virus, if so Willian could step in to replace him. 

Courtois is also expected to start the game in goal after suffering a head injury in their last game against Arsenal. 

Chelsea favourite Didier Drogba could also return to the bench after recovering from an ankle injury. 


Possible line-ups

Crystal Palace 

Crystal Palace 4-2-3-1 football formation

 

 Chelsea 

Chelsea football formation


Eye on the opposition
By Jack Pierce

When Palace fans are asked of their favourite memory of last season, the majority will (fairly) state the comeback against Liverpool. Coming back from three goals down against title contenders live in front of the cameras in our last home game of the season was fantastic.

But what about beating Chelsea at home?!

From my viewpoint, that was the team's best performance of the season and at the time was a massive signal of intent that Palace were going to fight with everything in their capability to stay up.

John Terry scoring the winner and laying on the floor with his head in his hands was just a beautiful bonus.

As we wave goodbye to another international break, this weekend sees Jose Mourinho's side visit SE25 for the first time since that day Terry perfectly glanced the ball beyond Petr Cech.

... and this might not be pretty or as enjoyable as last time!

Last season was a disappointment for Chelsea. Defeats such as their's at Selhurst Park, Villa Park and at home to Sunderland derailed their title challenge. They failed in both domestic cups and were thwarted by Atletico Madrid in the semi finals of the Champions League. Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge was supposed to bring back a return of the machine-like side that became the hallmark of his first spell in English football but last season proved there was work for the 'Special One' to do.

That said, it appears that after a year of settling back into his surroundings; Mourinho has a side more suited to his preferred style. The strong muscular core to his team, supplemented by more flair players, has made for a very fruitful combination so far this season. Chelsea currently sit at the top of the league where many expect them to stay for the rest of this campaign.

Three key additions were made to the side over the summer and it's fair to say each of them has proved a fairly astute move on Mourinho's part.

Thibaut Courtois, fresh from his seemingly eternal loan move at Atletico Madrid, has dislodged Petr Cech as number one. The young Belgian's return left his manager with a rather difficult but luxurious choice between a youngster mooted to be the future best goalkeeper in the world and Cech, a man who has won it all with Chelsea in the last decade while becoming a mainstay of the club. Mourinho chose the future and it's likely Cech will leave the club come January. He won't be short of offers.

It's fair to say that most football fans thought that if Cesc Fabregas returned to these shores in a playing capacity, he would be once again be wearing the red of Arsenal.

Well, for the whatever reason, The Gunners didn't take up the first option they had on their ex-captain and Chelsea swiftly concluded a deal to bring him back to London. His form so far this season has been of a man who never left the Premier League. Such is his assurance on the ball, Fabregas has already highlighted what a good signing he will be and what a mistake not bringing him back to The Emirates might prove to be.

Diego Costa has split opinion. Some like his approach to the game; others don't. What is undeniable is he has taken to English football like a duck to water. Nine league goals already is a fantastic return for a player bought to supply the goals to win the league. Continue at the rate he's currently banging them in and he will break the record for an individual's goals in a Premier League season easily.

Costa recently celebrated a birthday and many were left wondering how a man who looks the way he does can only have been around for 26 years.

Seriously. Diego Costa is 26! He would've been in my year at school!

So far, so good for Chelsea this season. The only points dropped were at The Etihad when a certain club icon proved that he can still cut it in the top flight.

Releasing both Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole highlighted Mourinho's annoyance with how last season turned out. Nothing is going to get in the way of Chelsea this season if he gets his way. Not even sentiment.

This Saturday is going to be tough for Palace; perhaps as tough as it's going to be all season but for those there, don't cover your eyes for the whole match.

You may well be watching this season's champions.


Knowing me, knowing you

Josh Esaw takes a look at players who have played for both Chelsea and Palace. Including a very special left back. 


From the other side

Chelsea fan Phil Juni answers some of our questions about Saturday's game. 


Prediction

I don't want to be a doom and gloom merchant but I think Palace are in for a really hard test against Chelsea. 

The Blues have looked invincible this season with Diego Costa on fire up front and the midfield looking strong with players such as Matic and Fabregas often controlling games. 

I would love for Palace to repeat last season's fantastc result but with Scott Dann injured the Eagle's defence just won't be the same and I think they will be in for their toughest game yet against the likes of Costa, Hazard, Oscar and Willian. 

I am praying for Palace to prove me wrong but I think this has a home defeat written all over it. If John Terry decided to play for us again then we of course have a great chance. 

Crystal Palace 0 - 2 Chelsea  


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