Chelsea’s horrendous form continues.
On Thursday night, the Blues were beaten 2-1 by West London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage, suffering a first defeat at the hands of their neighbours in 15 years.
The misery was personified by João Félix’s 58th minute red card, meaning the expensive loanee is now suspended for three games.
Graham Potter’s team have now won just one of their last nine Premier League matches, also dumped out of both domestic cups in this period.
This is the Blues’ worst run of form since April 1996, ending that season 11th,closer to the relegation zone than the top four.
Of course, Todd Boehly will be hesitant to sack Potter this quickly, but things are looking pretty bleak.
So, can Crystal Palace add to the misery that is currently engulfing Stamford Bridge?
The Eagles themselves have lost five of their last six in all competitions, but would go level on points with their hosts if they can claim a victory.
Last weekend, Patrick Vieira’s team were dumped out the FA Cup by Southampton, despite taking the lead through Odsonne Édouard at Selhurst.
Having been smashed 4-0 by Tottenham in their most-recent league outing, Palace make the 8.6 mile journey north-west with confidence very low.
In short, this is a very intriguing encounter, and one that is extremely tough to call.
Chelsea team news
Following João Félix’s red card and Denis Zakaria’s red card at Craven Cottage, Chelsea’s unavailable list just continues to grow.
They join Édouard Mendy, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kanté, Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling and Armando Broja who were already injured.
Without Zakaria, who’s been excellent since the restart, Jorginho will come into midfield alongside Mateo Kovačić.
Needing a goal on Thursday, Potter made a quadruple substitution, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still couldn’t get on, which is telling.
David Datro Fofana came on for his debut at the Eithad last Sunday, while Benoît Badiashile is still awaiting his first appearance.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta; Thiago Silva, Koulibaly, Hall; Jorginho, Kovačić, Gallagher; Ziyech, Mount, Havertz.
Crystal Palace team news
Having had over a week to prepare for this fixture, Patrick Vieira’s squad is, pretty much, at full strength.
Tyrick Mitchell will return at left-back, after serving the final game of his three-match ban in the FA Cup.
Cheick Doucouré and Will Hughes started in midfield against Southampton, but Jeffrey Schlupp and/or Eberechi Eze could return here.
Wilfried Zaha has scored three career goals against Chelsea, including the equaliser in the Eagles’ most-recent victory at Stamford Bridge on April Fools’ Day 2017.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Guiata; Clyne, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell; Doucouré, Schlupp, Eze; Olise, Ayew, Zaha.