Chelsea vs Crystal Palace line-up, Team News Injuries and suspensions
Chelsea have struggled in London derby matches under Antonio Conte, particularly against Crystal Palace, but they are desperate for a result when they host Roy Hodgson’s men on Saturday with a place in the top four on the line.
Tottenham are currently five points ahead of Chelsea, who are fifth and could miss out on a lucrative spot in Europe if they can’t overturn the points difference in the final nine games of the season.
Palace are in poor form themselves as they battle relegation, while an injury crisis has seen them without a win in their last six games, but a positive result could see them out of the bottom three on Saturday.
David Luiz is currently out with an ankle injury and Tiemoue Bakayoko sustained a knock in training. Bakayoko is not a long way from returning from injury, as he works both on the pitch and in the treatment room.
Conte has confirmed that Ross Barkley is back from a hamstring injury and he could return on Saturday against Crystal Palace.
Ethan Ampadu is also out after coming off injured in the UEFA Youth League win over Feyenoord, over a week ago. He missed the FA Youth Cup game against Fulham on Tuesday night and he is receiving treatment, following his early substitution in Netherlands.
Alvaro Morata made his first start for over a month in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United but he is still struggling with pain from his back injury.
Chelsea currently have no players suspended. Spain striker Morata is, however, one yellow card away from a two-match ban after accumulating nine bookings.
Chelsea potential starting line-up
Chelsea were completely dominated by Manchester City in their previous match and were lucky to escape having lost only 1-0.
Conte came in for much criticism as his side struggled to string passing moves together, while they created very little with Eden Hazard operating as a false 9.
That same strategy is unlikely to come into play against weaker opposition which would mean a return for Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata to the start line up.
Morata’s poor form and injury record has meant he hasn’t scored in 11 games, with his last goal coming against Brighton & Hove Albion in December. This might lead to Giroud leading the line.
Conte will likely go into the match with as strong of a line up as possible, with so much riding on the result. That’s despite their away trip to Barcelona coming up on Wednesday.
Crystal Palace team news
Crystal Palace are going through another injury crisis, particularly in attack. They are likely to be without their talisman Wilfred Zaha, who scored in the club’s last two games against Chelsea, he is recovering from a knee problem.
Jason Puncheon and Connor Wickham both also have a knee injuries. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ineligible to play due to the terms of his loan from Chelsea and is carrying an ankle injury. Diafra Sakho also has an ankle issue, while Johan Cabaye is also likely to be out with a thigh complaint.
Even in defence Palace have problems. Mamadou Sakho will probably be out due to a calf issue, while Joel Ward and Scott Dann should also be out.
Julian Speroni is out with a knee injury, which means you could make a full eleven of players missing through injury.
TV channel & kick-off time
The match takes place at 17:30 GMT on Sunday and it will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport.
Best Opta match facts
- The last time Chelsea lost three home London derbies in a row against the same opposition in the top-flight was vs Arsenal in April 1974.
- Antonio Conte’s side have lost four of their last five Premier League games; their previous four defeats in the competition came over a run of 30 matches.
- Wilfried Zaha has scored in his last two Premier League games against Chelsea, including the winner in the reverse fixture for the Eagles’ first Premier League win of the season in October.