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Paul Merson states his prediction for Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace

11 March, 2018, 01:52 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace A wasteful Chelsea close the gap on top-four despite late scare

Chelsea will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge this evening.

Chelsea now sits fifth in the Premier League, five points behind Tottenham Hotspur, who occupy the final spot for next year's European competition.

Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, has warned his side that forward, Wilfried Zaha is not the only unsafe player Crystal Palace possess. The Eagles are 18th at the moment, one point shy of safety behind 17th-place Southampton.

For now, Chelsea can focus on this season's edition of the Champions League, in which they travel to Barcelona on Wednesday with the last-16 tie level at 1-1 after the first leg.

Conte, however, claims last week's snow and cold weather were responsible for the scare and resumed training this week ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against Crystal Palace.

Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, says his side can not afford to drop more points from now til the end of the season following their recent struggles.

Hodgson has stuck with Wayne Hennessey in goal for most of this season.




History is on Palace's side - they've gone home with maximum points on their last two visits here.

Much has been spoken about Liverpool's potent attack in the build-up, but United boast threats of their own and a front man coming into form as the season reaches a conclusion. "Olivier played against West Brom from the start, he played against Hull and he came on in other games, but he's ready". But the introduction of Wilfried Zaha at half-time gave the visitors renewed heart and Patrick van Aanholt pulled a goal back in the 90th minute to test the nerves of Stamford Bridge unduly.

They nearly added a fourth on the stroke of half-time, but Tomkins made a brilliant intervention on the line to deny Giroud at the end of an exceptional move.

The hosts now sit in the relegation zone but a victory on Saturday could propel them out of the drop zone and give them a little bit more hope of stay up.

Conte also confirmed that the game against Palace would certainly come too soon for long-term absentee David Luiz and Ross Barkley.

Kante's midfield partner Tiemoue Bakayoko has not featured for the Blues since being sent off in the first half of the disappointing 4-1 defeat at Watford on 5 March due to injury. They are expected to be without the likes of Connor Wickham, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bakary Sako, Julian Speroni and Mamadou Sakho.

"I tried to keep him for another season but he wanted to play and I understood this".

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