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Preview: Crystal Palace v Chelsea


08:00 2nd January 2016

Palace host the reigning Premier League champions in their first game of 2016, aiming to continue their unbeaten run which stretched to six games after Monday's goalless draw with Swansea City.

Celebrating exactly one year in charge of the Eagles, Alan Pardew's men will take on Guus Hiddink's new side who have drawn their first two matches under the Dutchman - a 2-2 Boxing Day result with Watford followed by a stalemate against Manchester United 48 hours later.

This is Hiddink's second spell in charge of the Blues, having held a similar interim role for the final few months of the 2008/09 season when Luis Felipe Scolari was dismissed. He only lost once during his 22 matches back then, and will be hoping that record continues as he takes his seat in the Selhurst Park dugout for the first time since overseeing a 2003 pre-season friendly when he was manager of PSV Eindhoven.

Wilfried Zaha could make his 200th Palace appearance should he play a part in the match.


Guus Hiddink: "The players have experienced a very bad half year. They have to lift it up and that's what we have talked about in the locker room. Everyone is convinced we couldn't go on on the same path and we have shown that in the last three games.

"It’s normal to see the character and desire of the players but they have shown a lot ambition in the last three games. That’s what we are asking and automatically when everyone is on board hopefully then we can use the quality of the players as well.

"I would have been more worried if there was a lack of confidence or ambition but I don’t see that at the moment in this team."


Crystal Palace: Yohan Cabaye is out of the game after picking up his fifth booking of the season on Monday against Swansea, one game before the threshold was moved to 10.

Damien Delaney was rested against the Swans so could come back into the side, but Bakary Sako, Connor Wickham, Yannick Bolasie and Dwight Gayle are all still injured.

Patrick Bamford has returned to the Blues after calling time on his loan spell at Palace, but is unable to play in this game.

Chelsea: Cesc Fabregas is expected to return to the Blues side after missing their goalless draw against Manchester United through illness, and Diego Costa is available again after also sitting out that game through suspension.

Gary Cahill could also be in contention after recovering from his ankle injury, but Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao are struggling to be fit.


Kevin Friend officiates his first Eagles game of the season, and was in the middle when the two sides met in May when he handed the Blues a penalty in their 1-0 win. He also oversaw Chelsea's League Cup exit to Stoke City back in October.

Referee: K Friend
Assistants: S Bennett and M Perry
Fourth Official: A Marriner

Palace winsDrawsChelsea wins
FA Cup212
League Cup100


18th October 2014
Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea
Premier League

Cesc Fabregas scored his first league goal for Chelsea as the Premier League leaders survived a late Palace fightback to maintain a five-point advantage over Manchester City.

The Blues shrugged off the absence of top scorer Diego Costa to open the scoring with a 25-yard Oscar free-kick.

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and Palace's Damien Delaney were sent off before Fabregas finished a fine move.

Fraizer Campbell's late goal provided a scare but Jose Mourinho's men held on.

Tickets for this game are SOLD OUT.

A reminder that additional security will be employed at Selhurst Park Stadium for the above fixture. Supporters are advised to expect checks and to arrive earlier than usual at the stadium to avoid delays outside the ground. Turnstiles will be open from 12pm.

Supporters are asked to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity either by contacting a steward or using the match day text alert service. 

The club would like to thank supporters in advance for their understanding and co-operation.


Up to 45 minutes before kick-off you can get a Carlsberg or Somersby Cider and any burger (excluding GK burger) for just £5 in the concourse bars. 

Offer available at selected bars with the Early Bird Signage. The option of Real Ale will only be available from the bars serving Real Ale, please ask a member of staff before you order.

Live commentary of all 90 minutes from Selhurst Park will be available on Palace Player. Click HERE to log in or sign up. 

There will also be constant updates throughout the day at @CPFC on Twitter.

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