Crystal Palace vs Chelsea; Team news, injury, Managers remark and match facts
Wilfried Zaha hopes to be involved for the first time since injuring his knee in Crystal Palace’s opening game, but Christian Benteke remains sidelined.
Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey faces a late fitness test on a calf problem, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ineligible to play against his parent club.
Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater remains out with a calf issue.
Fellow midfielder N’Golo Kante will be unavailable for three weeks because of a hamstring injury.
However, defender David Luiz returns after serving a three-game ban.
Striker Alvaro Morata will not play at Selhurst Park because of a hamstring strain, but the Spaniard could return against Roma on Wednesday.
Simon Brotherton: “When you’re pointless and goalless after seven games, the last thing you need is to be striker-less. That remains the scenario for Crystal Palace, with Christian Benteke still sidelined as champions Chelsea head to Selhurst Park.
“They will also be without Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who is ineligible to play against his parent club. His midfield influence will be missed.
“Chelsea have injury issues of their own, with Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante both out, but Morata’s absence up front could provide a decent opportunity for Michy Batshuayi.
“He scored the winner away to Atletico Madrid recently but has found it hard to secure Antonio Conte’s trust.”
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson on the potential return of fit-again winger Wilfried Zaha: “He can make a difference. There’s no reason not to consider him.
“He’s a good player who, in the past, has made some very important moves and done some very important things for Crystal Palace. The fans will be pleased to see him back because they associate him with some better moments.”
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte on the injury to N’Golo Kante: “This is a big loss for us. You know the importance of N’Golo for us, we don’t have a player with the same characteristic we are not lucky in this position of the field.
“We approach seven games in one month and we have to find a different solution, maybe adapt a defender or young players. It is difficult to play with [Cesc] Fabregas and Tiemoue [Bakayoko for seven games.”
Chelsea have got a couple of injury problems but it is still a huge ask to expect the Eagles to get anything out of this game.
The question still remains as to where the goals will come from. We might not find out the answer for another week.
Palace’s only home victory in eight Premier League matches against Chelsea was 1-0 under Tony Pulis in March 2014 (D1, L6).
Chelsea have won the last two meetings at Selhurst Park, whilst Palace have won the last two at Stamford Bridge.
The last meeting between sides managed by Roy Hodgson and Antonio Conte was the 1-1 friendly draw between England and Italy in March 2015. Palace’s Andros Townsend scored England’s goal.
Crystal Palace are enduring the second longest goalless run from the start of an English league season. Their current drought of 630 minutes is surpassed only by Halifax, who went 730 minutes without a goal in the fourth tier in 1990.
The Eagles’ last league goal was scored by Patrick van Aanholt in the final minute of a 4-0 home win against Hull on 14 May.
Defeat by Chelsea would establish another unwanted club league record of nine successive losses.
Palace have won only one of their last seven matches at Selhurst Park, losing five.
They have had 81 attempts on goal in the Premier League this season, just two fewer than Chelsea – yet the Blues have scored 12 goals.
Roy Hodgson is in danger of losing his first four Premier League matches as a manager for the first time.
Chelsea have won eight of their last nine Premier League away matches, the exception being a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United in April.
Antonio Conte’s side have failed to score in two of their last three league matches, as many as in their previous 36 fixtures.
Chelsea’s record of 13 points from seven games is exactly the same as they had at this stage of their 2016-17 title-winning campaign.
Cesar Azpilicueta has provided four Premier League assists this season, equalling his highest tally in a single campaign. Only David Silva and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with six and five assists respectively, have a better record in 2017-18.
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