Premier League Match Preview: Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace

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Updated: December 11, 2013
Crystal Palace

Match Date: 14 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Stamford Bridge

 

Chelsea

Despite losing three points from their joist with Stoke City, Chelsea were still able to remain in the top three. They are one of the only four clubs in the tournament to score at least nine victories in 15 matches, and only the third squad to post total points straddling the 30’s range (the others being Arsenal and Liverpool).

 

On the attack, Chelsea are doing above par. José Mourinho’s lads, however, need some more focus on their defense. Following their 3-2 away defeat last weekend—not to mention the eight goals they conceded in the five matches prior to the Stoke City combat—a series of vigorous planning should take place in order to strengthen the side’s defending impulse. Signing reinforcement may help, but it is in the players’ overall approach to their defense that must be overhauled, at least partially. In addition, loaning out Romelu Lukaku to Premier League rivals Everton might have been a bad move.

 

Crystal Palace

The newly promoted side’s performances in their last five matches have generally been a huge improvement from where they started in the season. They are still in the relegation zone (inevitably, due to the massive losses they incurred from week 10 backwards), but the end-to-end clean sheets they obtained in their two most recent fixtures are strong indicators that they are on the way to sit onto the table’s safer spots.

 

Tony Pulis is proving to be massively superior of his predecessor, Ian Holloway. He has already put Crystal Palace in victory three times in just four fixtures. Holloway, in comparison, only delivered four points in 11 matches.

 

Football betting tip: This clash will be Crystal Palace’s first real big challenge under their new coach. A Chelsea battle is a far more difficult task to deal with than defeating Cardiff, West Ham, or Hull (the clubs Crystal Palace beat in the past few weeks). But with Tony Pulis on the watch, fear levels will put at bay. A surprise draw should be expected from this round.

 

Crystal Palace | Image source: bbc.co.uk