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Match Previews

The Palace Preview: Chelsea

30 December 2018

Crystal Palace face Chelsea today in a midday kick-off for their second game against the Blues this season, looking to build on recent successes with the West Londoners.

The Eagles have now gone unbeaten in three matches and are currently enjoying good form as they prepare to enter the New Year in a stronger position for the rest of the campaign.

Despite having lost the last match against Chelsea in November 3-1, Palace have lately held a solid record against the Blues given their relative magnitude in the Premier League and have won two of their past four matches against the Pensioners.

In the last home battle between West and South London, the boys from SE25 ran out as victors thanks to a Cesar Azpilicueta own goal and Wilfried Zaha winner following an initial Tiemoue Bakayoko equaliser. The match was a notable turning point in the Eagles' 2017/18 season, seeing them record their first goal of the campaign and also ensure they got off the mark with their first set of points after seven games without anything.

The victory ultimately catalysed a spell that would haul the Eagles out of the relegation zone before finishing the season in a remarkable 11th place.

One man playing in blistering form for the Blues who will be looking to prevent another Palace upset will be Eden Hazard, the Chelsea man having been involved in more goals than any other Premier League player this season, scoring or assisting a total of 19.

Facing him, however, will be a resilient Palace defence that has kept four clean sheets from their past seven matches and holds the second best defensive record for any side in the table's lower half; having conceded the 7th fewest goals in the league.

Encouragingly, Chelsea have scored the joint fewest goals among the top six this season and so this match could be set to be a tight, close-knit affair with Palace defending well against an attack not quite of the same firepower as the teams it competes alongside.

Elsewhere, it is again Brighton and Hove Albion that Palace fans will have wanted to have kept an eye on as the Seagulls and Eagles were only separated by three points and a goal difference only better for the former by two before their victory over Everton yesterday. As Brighton notched up another three points, though, they have now extended their lead over Palace to six points and so it is all the more important that the Eagles perform today.

Patrick van Aanholt is the only Palace player to have previously worn the blue of Chelsea while the visitor's ranks contain two former Eagles: Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Victor Moses. Both players were popular with fans in south London and the former enjoyed a successful loan spell to SE25 last season in which he earned his first senior England cap.

Moses rose through the youth team at Palace and went on to play a total of 69 matches in red and blue having spent nine years with the club.

Your matchday stat and ref

There has not been a draw in the top-flight between Crystal Palace and Chelsea since March 1995, with Palace winning four to Chelsea’s 11 over the last 15 meetings.

Refereeing this match will be Craig Pawson, who will be joined by Ian Hussin and Eddie Smart as assistants while Andre Marriner will act as the fourth official.

Team news

Head here for full team news from both sides as Jeffrey Schlupp replaces Max Meyer for Palace while Olivier Giroud and Ross Barkley have been chosen for Chelsea ahead of Mateo Kovacic and Pedro.

Live coverage

This match will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event from 11.30. For fans in the USA, it will be available on NBC.

For those watching outside of the UK and USA, check out our worldwide TV listings now.

Alternatively, if you live abroad, why not check out if there is an Official Supporters' Club meeting near you? Find the nearest on to you here.

If you want to follow the game live but cannot access it on television, Palace Audio provides full, live commentary for just £1.49 - buy it now.

Should you need any information about the game, head over to our matchday attendee information guide now.


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