Palace head to Stamford Bridge this weekend having secured three wins from their first four games this season to face a Chelsea side who in contrast have won just once in their first four competitive games.
That did come last weekend as they managed to see off Tony Pulis' West Bromwich Albion, despite being seeing skipper John Terry dismissed, but their opening day draw against Swansea City was followed by a convincing 3-0 win by Manchester City.
Having also lost the Community Shield to Arsenal earlier this month, Jose Mourinho's men seem under pressure but they have the same amount of points at this stage of this season as they did last term, which saw them go on to clinch the Premier League title by beating Palace 1-0 at Stamford Bridge three months ago.
Jose Mourinho: "Crystal Palace are always a difficult opponent and they have even better players than last season and an even better team than last season. A London derby is always a London derby and for them Stamford Bridge is a huge motivation.
"But I see my team coming and we had a good game and good result last weekend.
"That result had a bit of an influence on the happiness of the group and hopefully we can get three more points before the period of international games.
“It’s not normal that in three matches you have two penalties against and you play with 10 men twice. One match at home, two matches away, four points is not what we want, but four points is not a drama.
"When you are five points behind a leader in another league that can be complicated. In the Premier League it’s not complicated."
Chelsea: Along with John Terry's suspension, Mourinho is also sweating over the fitness of Oscar who has been struggling with a knock.
Gary Cahill is set to deputise for the Blues captain despite struggling with a broken nose, and Victor Moses is also doubtful, but new signing Abdul Baba Rahman could feature if he is fit enough.
Juan Cuadrado has joined Juventus on loan until the end of the season.
Crystal Palace: Mile Jedinak limped off with a hamstring strain against Shrewsbury Town in midweek and has been withdrawn from the Australia squad for their internationals next week, so is unlikely to play at Stamford Bridge.
Julian Speroni is approaching full fitness but this game could come too soon for him after his finger injury, whereas Wilfried Zaha played 120 minutes on Tuesday night and could be rested especially with Yannick Bolasie available once again.
Marouane Chamakh and Fraizer Campbell are the Eagles' only two other absentees with both strikers struggling with hamstring injuries.
Palace have won seven of their nine league away matches since Alan Pardew’s appointment and have 22 points on the road in 2015, a league-high figure only matched by Chelsea and Arsenal.
Palace have failed to win in their last 13 league trips to Stamford Bridge, a run which stretches back to 1982.
After beating Aston Villa last weekend, Alan Pardew is now the Eagles' most successful manager in the top-flight having claimed 12 victories in his eight months in charge.
This match will be Jose Mourinho's 200th league game in charge of the Blues, who are one goal shy of 200 scored in London derbies in the Premier League.
The game will be officiated by Craig Pawson who has been in charge of seven Palace games of which the Eagles have won three. He was also in the middle for the 2-1 home defeat to the Blues last season, as well as the 1-0 win against Swansea City on the final day of last season.
Referee: C Pawson
Assistants: J Brooks and S Ledger
Fourth Official: J Linington
|Chelsea wins||Draws||Palace wins|
LAST MEETING AT STAMFORD BRIDGE
3rd May 2015
Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace
Chelsea secured the Premier League title by beating Crystal Palace at an ecstatic Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho's side needed three points to complete the triumph that has become an inevitability in recent weeks as they moved out of sight of their rivals to reclaim the crown from Manchester City, who are 13 points adrift despite their win at Tottenham.
Victory was secured by Eden Hazard's goal on the stroke of half-time, the Belgian heading past Julian Speroni after the Palace goalkeeper had saved the PFA Player of the Year's penalty.
Tickets are SOLD OUT for this game.
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