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Match Previews

Preview: Chelsea v Crystal Palace

31 March 2017


INTRO
With three wins in a row, the Eagles head to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon filled with confidence ahead of their clash with the runaway league leaders.

Memories will come flooding back for the visiting fans of their last trip to west London as they claimed their only top-flight success at the venue by a 2-1 margin, but Chelsea have been a different beast this campaign and will be looking to maintain or extend their 10-point lead ahead of second-placed Tottenham.

The Blues are on an 12-match unbeaten run, and the only blemish in their last 22 league encounters was a 2-0 loss to Spurs at the start of January. The latest success came nearly a fortnight ago at Stoke City as they ground out a 2-1 win thanks to Gary Cahill's late winner.

Chelsea have also won the most points in London derbies this season in the Premier League (15), while Palace have lost all five they've been involved in.


OPPOSITION VIEW


Antonio Conte: "In my past I lived two experiences, one positive one negative. We need 21 points to be champions.

"Tomorrow we play a very tough game, after the international break is not easy. This week we faced a lot of problems.

"Tomorrow is a very difficult game. We have to pay great attention to this."


TEAM NEWS

Chelsea: Eden Hazard will be assessed ahead of this game as he missed both of Belgium's matches during the international break due to a calf strain, and he could be rested for the Blues' game against Manchester City on Wednesday.

A similar aliment forced ex-Eagle Victor Moses to sit out Nigeria duty, and while Thibaut Courtois returned to the club during the break following a hip problem he is expected to be fit, as will Diego Costa who picked up an ankle knock in action for Spain. John Terry is also back to full fitness.

Palace: Mathieu Flamini is back training, but Patrick van Aanholt is still suffering from his ankle injury and Sam Allardyc has revealed that Fraizer Campbell has picked up a knock in training. James McArthur is struggling with back spasms.

Connor Wickham (knee) and Pape Souare (leg) are the Eagles' only long-term injury casualties.


HEAD TO HEAD
Chelsea winsDrawsPalace wins
League19146
FA Cup212
League Cup001
Total21159


STATS
Chelsea have won four of their last five Premier League games against the Eagles, losing the other at Stamford Bridge last season.

The Blues have used the fewest players (21) and made the fewest changes to their starting XI overall (26) in the Premier League this season. 

Diego Costa's next Premier League goal will be his 50th in the competition and would be the seventh Chelsea player to reach that milestone for the club.

Chelsea have scored the first goal of a Premier League game on a league-high 22 occasions this season, while only Sunderland (20) have conceded the first goal more often than Palace (19).

Christian Benteke has scored in four different Premier League games against Chelsea; against no side has he scored in more games in the competition (also four games v Sunderland and Swansea).

In Premier League history, Palace have won 48.3% of their points away from home (167/323). The team to have won a higher proportion of their total points away in the competition are Blackpool (48.7%).


OFFICIALS

Craig Pawson takes charge of his fourth Palace game of the season, with the Eagles winning once against Stoke City and losing at home to West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United. Of the 14 games he's overseen, Palace have won seven and drawn two of them.

Referee: C Pawson
Assistants: S Ledger and I Hussin
Fourth official: A Marriner


LAST MEETING AT STAMFORD BRIDGE

29th August 2015
Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
Premier League

Jose Mourinho suffered only his second defeat in his 100th home league game in charge of Chelsea as Crystal Palace claimed a shock win at Stamford Bridge.

After a goalless first half in which Chelsea dominated possession, Palace took the lead when Bakary Sako drove in after Yannick Bolasie's low cross.

Chelsea responded when substitute Radamel Falcao headed in his first goal for the club but Palace regained the lead immediately as Joel Ward nodded in a late winner.


TICKETS
Tickets for this game are now sold out.


TRAVEL
Coach travel for this game has sold out.

For more information on how to get to Stamford Bridge, read our Away Day Guide here.

For more information on the ground itself, please click here.


LIVE COVERAGE
Live commentary of the whole game at Stamford Bridge 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, or you can get in-game stats and live coverage on our official app - click here for more information.

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