Football

Crystal Palace v Chelsea: Match Preview

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Fresh from their 6-0 thrashing of Arsenal last weekend, Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side will look to extend their lead at the top of the table when they visit Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Both sides are playing for a very different purpose: Chelsea are trying to win their fourth Premier League title in 10 seasons, while Crystal Palace are trying to keep their neck away from the guillotine, just three points ahead of relegation in 17th place.

Palace boss Tony Pulis highlighted the difference in the quality of players that the two managers have at their disposal in his pre-match press conference, stating: "If you're looking at the balance of the two clubs and what they have and haven't got it is a very uneven contest."

"Uneven contest" maybe. But an open-and-shut case? Certainly not.

Chelsea have a recent history of dropping points away from Stamford Bridge, due to a mixture of opposing teams' tendency to attack like they have nothing to lose and the fact that they can become careless in fixtures against smaller clubs. 

Chelsea's 1-0 loss at Aston Villa two weeks ago raises flags in regards to their ability to hold off Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the table, and this is a similar match-up against a younger team at home, playing to stay in England's top flight. 

Palace narrowly missed out on an important point last week at St. James Park, when Newcastle's Papiss Cisse headed home the match-winning goal in stoppage time.

The key to the game for Pullis and Palace will be keeping Chelsea scoreless for the opening 15 minutes. If they can withstand the inevitable offensive pressure from the Blues long enough to where Palace can counter and make things uncomfortable for the visitors, then they have a chance to grab points.

If Pulis tells them to attack early and often, however, Chelsea will do what they do best and get the ball out to Eden Hazard or Willian on the wings on the break, and Palace's Julian Speroni will be picking the ball out the back of his net within ten minutes.

Without top goal scorer Marouane Chamakh due to injury, it's imperative that goal-deprived Crystal Palace are clinical in front of goal if and when they are given the chance to fire.

Chelsea have only given up 23 goals this Premier League campaign, and if Palace want to stain that mark, they'll have to keep a cool head in their offensive third.

Chelsea will look to bury the home side early and collect the three points, attacking down the wing and giving the ball to the electric Hazard to create for himself and others. 

With Samuel Eto'o unavailable due to injury, Mourinho will turn to Fernando Torres to spear-head the Chelsea attack.

Overall, it should be a solid match and look to Palace to put up a strong fight at Selhurst Park. With that said, Palace have one of the worst attacks in the league and Chelsea have arguably one of the best defences in all of Europe, and Mourinho and co. should be taking the three points home in their stride as they charge forward in the Premier League title race.

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Topics:
Crystal Palace
Eden Hazard
Chelsea
Football
Premier League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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