Crystal Palace vs Chelsea may seem like a foregone conclusion and one look at the odds would suggest the same. But this is a big game for both teams. On the one hand you have a Palace team that is desperate to get off the mark in the Premier League as they look to avoid continuing their humiliating start. On the other you have a Chelsea team that is flying high and could move into third with a win here.
It’s also a game in which some Chelsea players will see as a test run, a game in which they will look to get off the mark and show their supporters back home just what they are capable of.
Crystal Palace are in turmoil right now. They have played 7 and lost 7 in the Premier League and they are waiting for a savior to come in and take control and they have appointed Roy Hodgson to that role. Good luck with that. But as I have said many times this season and last, Palace have some good players and with the right direction and motivation, this could easily be a middle of the table team.
There are other positives there as well that show that life might be on the up for Palace. What’s more, they haven’t been all bad this season. Towards the end of September they beat Huddersfield in the FA Cup. This was sandwiched between huge losses in the league, but it was still a big win for them and one that came against a very capable team.
If they can get in the right mindset with the new manager, then this is a team that can still salvage success this season. If they know that a new manager is in then the players will play out of their skin to impress him and make sure they get their name on the team sheet. But maybe that dedication is beyond this team and maybe they have given up.
Chelsea have won big many times they season, but they have also slipped up a couple of times and there is a concern that they might do the same against Palace. They have some high-flying players in their squad though, with the likes of Eden Hazard finally playing the football that we all know he can play and with more than enough quality behind him and ahead of him.
Alonso has been a big part of their success this season and he will continue to be so. He’s an integral part of their attack, providing the opportunities through which Hazard and Morata can score. The Spaniard hasn’t really been given much of a chance to get a good run of goals together but this will be a great opportunity for that to happen. If the supply is right, and it could be, then he will pick the Palace defense apart and show Chelsea fans just what they spent so much money on.
I haven’t always been a big fan of Morata. When he was been touted as one of the best strikers in Europe I had my doubts and there were many players I put ahead of him, including Lukaku, who I would be proved right about. However, that’s not to say that Morata isn’t good enough, because he is. It’s just that he’s limited to a poaching role and relies entirely on the supply. If that’s cut short, he’s in trouble. But in a Chelsea team that includes Hazard, Willian, Alonso, Fabregas and Kante, supply shouldn’t be a problem.
I think that Chelsea will walk all over Palace here. I have high hopes for Palace in this Premier League season and do not think that they will be relegated, even though they already have a lot of work to do to avoid that. However, I think that Chelsea will humiliate them here.
In the weeks that come they will no doubt get things together and start climbing the table, but a lot needs to happen before that becomes the case. They need a new manager, a new setup and a lot more hard work. Right now, they are not quite at their weakest, but Chelsea are at their best.
My tip is for Chelsea on the handicap at -2. Palace will put up a fight but will ultimately not be strong enough or ready enough to stop The Blues.
Betting Tip: Chelsea -2, 3.00 @ Bet365