Chelsea will hope to bounce back in style versus Crystal Palace after suffering a heavy defeat against West Brom in last weekend’s Premier League clash.
Chelsea received a drubbing at the hands of West Brom last weekend, losing 5-2 to the Baggies. It was the Blues’ first loss under their new manager, Thomas Tuchel. However, there was an instant response from the players as they secured a 2-0 victory over Porto in the Champions League clash in the midweek.
Chelsea have now dropped to the fifth spot in the Premier League table, after West Ham secured all three points against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Tuchel is expected to make a few changes to his starting lineup, with an eye on the second leg of the Champions League. Nonetheless, the German recognizes the importance of finishing in the top four in the league, and will avoid any sort of complacency.
Edouard Mendy managed to keep a clean sheet against Porto, and will start between the sticks on Saturday. Thiago Silva is unavailable for selection after picking up a red card against the Baggies. This means that Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta are expected to start in the three-man defence. The trio did a fine job in the European Cup, keeping the Porto attackers at bay, but their work domestically will be under the scanner after a howler last weekend.
Marcos Alonso will come back into the starting lineup, despite Ben Chilwell‘s match-winning performance against Porto. Tuchel has adopted a policy of rotating between his two left-wing backs and as a result, the Spaniard will feature on Saturday. Reece James will hold his place in the starting lineup and start as the right-wing back.
N’Golo Kante came off the bench on Wednesday and is expected to start against Crystal Palace. The Frenchman has recovered from a hamstring injury he picked up during the international break. Mateo Kovacic is expected to get the nod over Jorginho to partner the Frenchman in the middle of the park.
Hakim Ziyech was on the bench against Porto and is likely to feature on Saturday. The Moroccan will operate as the right-attacking midfielder and will hope to put in a good performance. The former Ajax forward was unfortunate to be on the bench in the midweek, despite scoring in two of this three previous starts for the club.
Mason Mount opened the scoring for his side against Porto with a great finish. He also came off the bench last weekend, to score Chelsea’s second goal against the Baggies. The Englishman is expected to start as the left-attacking midfielder and will hope to score in his third consecutive game.
Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud are all in the mix to feature in the starting lineup on Saturday. Olivier Giroud has not started the past two games for his side, and might be handed an opportunity against Crystal Palace.