Crystal Palace go into this match off the back of a disappointing draw against Cardiff City. Now they’ll have a much more difficult match against Chelsea. The Eagles find themselves in the relegation scrap, but they are currently seven points off of the relegation zone. If they can keep this kind of pace, they should avoid the drop. Any points against the Blues would be huge in their fight to safety.
Chelsea are in a different fight; one for the Champions League. They have a two-point lead on fifth-placed Arsenal after the Gunners dropped points against Brighton on Boxing Day. While they have a lead, the Blues are not in a position to drop any points to relegation-threatened sides. Chelsea simply need to win this match, no two ways about it.
Palace will be without Christian Benteke, while Martin Kelly and Wayne Hennessy are doubts, according to Physioroom.com.
Chelsea will be missing Pedro, Marco van Ginkel and Andreas Christensen through injuries and Alvaro Morata’s status is in doubt, according to Physioroom.com.
Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha
Palace are quite dependent on Zaha for goals. He has scored or assisted more than a third of the Eagles’ Premier League goals this season. His ability to progress the ball and break defenses with his dribbling ability is vital to the team’s attack. They’ll need him to be at his best on Sunday.
Chelsea: Eden Hazard
Palace aren’t the only ones reliant on a dribbling winger, Chelsea’s attack lives and dies with Hazard. He has scored or assisted 11 of their 37 Premier League goals, including scoring or assisting nine of their last 10 Premier League goals. He drives Chelsea to success and they’ll need his form to continue if they are to succeed this season.
Chelsea should win this, but Palace will make it tough for them. Ultimately, the Blues will likely come out on top.
Prediction: 2-1 Chelsea