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Match Previews

Preview: Chelsea v Crystal Palace

4 November 2018

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace travel to Stamford Bridge this Sunday afternoon to take on Chelsea on the back of a well-earned league draw with fourth-place Arsenal. Hodgson's men will be buoyed by a decent record in west London having won twice in their past three trips to play Chelsea in SW6.

Overall, the Eagles have won three of their last six games against the Blues, with two of those victories coming away from home.

Palace fans will fondly recall recent triumphs against Chelsea that included seeing the first goal of the 2017/18 campaign scored in a 2-1 home win as well as the same result away from home when Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke both netted in style within the first 11 minutes of play in April 2017.

However, Chelsea are playing in blistering form and currently sit third in the Premier League while their manager, Maurizio Sarri, is unbeaten in his first 10 league games. Only one coach has enjoyed a longer run than that: Frank Clark with Nottingham Forest managing his first 11 matches without a loss in 1994.

Hodgson’s Palace will have to keep an eye on young English midfielders Ross Barkley and last season's star loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who have scored seven goals between them in Chelsea’s previous five games.

Team news

Roy Hodgson has provided an injury update in his weekly press conference, stating that forward Connor Wickham will be unavailable while Christian Benteke and Joel Ward remain injured but in recovery. 

For Chelsea, talisman Eden Hazard is still in doubt for Sunday but is likely to be fit enough to play. Sarri has suggested that he will most probably play one half but isn't quite ready for a full 90 minutes.

Did you know?

Palace legend David Hopkin signed for Chelsea in 1992. He played just 41 league games for them across three seasons before switching to the Eagles for £850,000 in 1995. Two years later, Hopkin wrote himself into the club’s history by curling in a last-minute winner against Sheffield United in the 1997 First Division play-off final to send Palace back into the Premier League.

He left that season but returned for a brief comeback in 2001 before winding down his career at Scottish club Greenock Morton. He now manages Bradford City but will forever be remembered by Palace fans for that effort in '97.

Double agent

South London born Ruben Loftus-Cheek spent last season with Crystal Palace on loan from Chelsea but has since returned to his parent club. The England international played 25 domestic games for the Eagles, netting twice and racking up four assists. While playing for Palace, Loftus-Cheek earned his first call-up to the national squad, having been recognised following an impressive run of form in red and blue.

This season, he has already bagged a hat-trick while playing for the Blues against BATE Borisov in the Europa League.

Head-to-head

  Chelsea wins Palace wins Draws Total
League 20 14 8 42
FA Cup 2 1 3 6
League Cup 0 0 1 1
Other 3 0 0 3
Total 25 15 12 52

The ref

Michael Oliver will referee Sunday’s game, having officiated 24 Palace games, issuing just one red card.

Key game elsewhere

West Ham play host to Burnley on Saturday, the two clubs respectively above and below Palace in the league. All three teams will sit on eight points before the weekend’s fixtures commence and so if Palace win while the other two draw, the Eagles will find themselves moving up to 13th, above both the Hammers and Clarets.

Big game flashback

Palace made the short journey to Stamford Bridge back in August 2015 having not won away to Chelsea since March 1982 while securing only one win against the Blues in 22 years.

Bakary Sako's 65th minute goal gave Palace the lead but when Radamel Falcao equalised with less than 10 minutes of the game remaining, it appeared that perhaps the Eagles weren’t on the cusp of earning a famous victory after all.

When Joel Ward found himself out of position in the opposition penalty box, however, he took his chance magnificently and sent a flying header into the home side’s net to bring all three points back to SE25 as Crystal Palace won 2-1.

Live coverage

Sunday's 1600 GMT kick-off will be shown as Sky Sport’s Main Event in the UK, with coverage starting thirty minutes prior to kick-off.

You can find out where the game is being shown in your country with our Worldwide TV Listings.

There will be live updates on the official Palace Twitter account as well as highlights on Palace TV, while fans can still pay just £1.49 on our app or website to listen to live commentary of all Eagles games. 

If you live abroad, find your nearest Supporters Club here.

Tickets and travel

This away end is sold out.

Stamford Bridge is most easily accessed by public transport - driving is not recommended. Find out more with our Away Day Guide


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