Chelsea will be looking to avenge last season’s shock defeat at Crystal Palace as they return to Premier League action in Saturday’s match at Selhurst Park.
Palace beat Chelsea 1-0 at home last March, with John Terry scoring an own goal early in the second half. The result seriously dented the west London side’s title challenge.
The Blues (6-1-0) are the only unbeaten side left in the Premier League this term and went into the international break five points clear at the top of the table, with summer signing Diego Costa leading all scorers with nine goals from seven matches. Jose Mourinho’s side beat Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in their most recent match behind goals from Eden Hazard and Costa.
Chelsea have scored 3.0 goals per league match but also have tightened their defence of late – posting clean sheets in their last two games after conceding seven in the first five.
Blues skipper Terry has praised his side’s offensive record and is pleased with his team-mates recent defensive form.
“You can look at every team in the league and they are all conceding goals,” Terry told his club’s official website. “When we conceded goals earlier on in the season everyone was questioning it but it’s going to happen. There are so many good teams and individuals in the league that we are going to concede goals.
“The important thing is that going forward we’ve got goals in us, as long as we’re not conceding too many. We’re maybe a little bit more attacking this year as well but we’ve had a few clean sheets on the bounce now and defensively we look very solid.”
Crystal Palace (2-2-3) suffered their first defeat in Neil Warnock’s second spell as manager as they lost 2-0 at Hull City on Oct. 4. The 65-year-old Warnock, who was at Selhurst Park from 2007-10, was re-appointed as Eagles boss at the end of August and guided them to a four-match unbeaten run before they lost to the Tigers.
The Eagles are in 15th place with eight points from their seven matches.
Palace defender Joel Ward believes his side can beat Chelsea again and insists the home supporters at Selhurst Park can play a big part.
“We proved it last year, we held our own,” Ward told his club’s official website. “At times during the season last year we had such strong belief and togetherness in the squad we wholeheartedly believed we could come through any opposition, we proved that by staying in the Premier League and finishing where we did.
“It is incredible having the support that we do. Because of that, the players relish the opportunity to play against the best teams in the country and the world in fact, so hopefully we can retain ‘Fortress Selhurst’ and kick on from there.”
Before losing at Selhurst Park, Chelsea beat Palace 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in December. Fernando Torres and Ramires scored for the Blues while Marouane Chamakh netted for Palace.
Before Palace’s win last term, Chelsea had gone unbeaten in nine (7-2-0) previous Premier League matches between the teams.
Chelsea have scored 10 times in the final 30 minutes of league matches this season, more than any other team.
Source: ScoreMobile FC