Chelsea FC vs Crystal Palace: Predictions, Preview, Team News, Betting Tips and Odds
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The Blues finished fourth in last season's Premier League table, while Palace - now under the management of former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira - claimed 14th for the second successive campaign.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace is scheduled for a 3pm BST kick-off on Saturday, August 14, 2021.
Where to watch Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
The match will not be televised live in the UK with the Premier League reverting back to the Saturday 3pm blackout following the return of fans to stadiums.
Chelsea needed a penalty shootout to overcome Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night, as the two teams could not be separated at the end of 120 minutes; it was yet more European silverware for the Blues, who spectacularly beat Manchester City in last season's Champions League final.
Thomas Tuchel has made a huge impression at Stamford Bridge since his arrival, but there is no question that the London club need to show improvement in the Premier League this term, as they only just finished fourth last term, some 19 points behind the champions Man City.
At the time of writing, Marcus Bettinelli is Chelsea's only arrival this summer, but the club are on the verge of signing Romelu Lukaku, with the Inter Milan striker set to return to Stamford Bridge in a £97.5m deal.
The Blues played three pre-season friendlies over the summer, beating Bournemouth and Arsenal, in addition to drawing with Tottenham Hotspur, and Saturday's clash with Palace is even more important than it might have been considering that Tuchel's side have a tough start to the campaign.
Indeed, the European Cup winners will visit Arsenal and Liverpool in their two games after the clash with Palace, while a tough September sees them face Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Man City.
To say that it has been a summer of change at Palace would be a slight understatement, with a new manager in place, as Vieira has replaced Roy Hodgson, and the 45-year-old will be desperate to make an impression in the Premier League, having enjoyed such success as a player.
The Eagles have boosted their squad with the arrivals of Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen, Michael Olise, Remi Matthews, Jacob Montes and Conor Gallagher, while a whole host of players have left on free transfers, including Andros Townsend, Patrick van Aanholt, James McCarthy, Scott Dann and Gary Cahill.
As a result, there will be a new look to the Palace XI next season, and it will be fascinating to see what the club can achieve this term, having finished 14th in their last two campaigns at this level of football.
The London club have had a busy pre-season in terms of fixtures, playing five times, recording four victories, including a 3-1 success over Watford in their last friendly on August 7, but Vieira will be aware of the challenge that his side will face on Saturday afternoon.
Palace will face Chelsea, Brentford and West Ham United in their three Premier League matches this month, while they will also begin their EFL Cup challenge against fellow top-flight side Watford on August 23.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace team news
Romelu Lukaku, once signed, is unlikely to feature due to a lack of training with his new team-mates, though is an outside shot of an appearance off the bench. Hakim Ziyech is out after a nasty looking arm injury in the Super Cup win.
Kai Havertz played the full 120 minutes on Wednesday so could drop out of the starting XI, with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic potentially coming in.
Crystal Palace could hand debuts to defenders Marc Guehi, formerly of Chelsea, and Joachim Anderson, though loanee Conor Gallagher is ineligable to face his parent club.
Eberechi Eze is out for the long term.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Head-to-Head
In 16 head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Chelsea hold the clear advantage. They have won 12 games and lost four.
The two clubs last faced each other earlier this year in the English Premier League, with Chelsea beating Crystal Palace 4-1. A brace from American attacker Christian Pulisic and goals from German forward Kai Havertz and French centre-back Kurt Zouma secured the win for Chelsea. Belgium international Christian Benteke scored the sole goal for Crystal Palace.
Chelsea form guide in the English Premier League: yet to play
Crystal Palace form guide in the English Premier League: yet to play
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Prediction
Chelsea have enjoyed a good start to their season, and have won their first trophy of the 2021/22 campaign. The Blues are closing in on signing Inter Milan superstar Romelu Lukaku, with the striker set to return to the Premier League after two world-class seasons in Italy.
Crystal Palace, on the other hand, let go of experienced players like Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt and Andros Townsend this summer. New manager Patrick Vieira has been backed well in the transfer market, with the club signing young talents like Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen and Michael Olise.
Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel have looked frighteningly good, and will be the favourites here.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Crystal Palace
Confident Chelsea to make strong start
Chelsea have been transformed since Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard in January, adding defensive steel to their undoubted attacking flair and becoming European champions.
The Blues kept 12 clean sheets in 20 Premier League matches under Tuchel last term and became increasingly difficult to break down. Perhaps the greatest evidence of that improvement came in their Champions League final victory over Manchester City, when they were far more comfortable winners than the 1-0 scoreline suggests.
Palace won at Stamford Bridge in 2015-16 and 2016-17 but their four subsequent visits have all ended in defeat, the last two without them scoring.
They lost 10 league matches on the road last season and we’re backing Chelsea to keep Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and Co at bay and kick their season off with a win and a clean sheet.
Tip: Chelsea to win to nil @ 10/11 with Betfair
Andersen faces baptism of fire
Crystal Palace have made some major moves in the transfer window over the summer and the arrival of Denmark defender Joachim Andersen from Lyon could be a real coup.
Andersen was on loan at Fulham last season and impressed in a Fulham defence that conceded just 53 goals last season – 13 fewer than Palace – despite their relegation.
But the 25-year-old picked up seven yellow cards in the Premier League last season, often against teams with tricky, pacy attackers such as Aston Villa, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs.
Chelsea are expected to start Timo Werner in this clash and despite not being the most prolific scorer he has an abundance of pace and is sure to test Andersen on his Crystal Palace debut. We envisage a testing afternoon for the centre-back and the first yellow card of his Selhurst Park career.
Tip: Joachim Andersen to be booked @ SP with Betfair
Havertz to open account
Despite Chelsea’s Super Cup victory on Wednesday, it was a disappointing night for Champions League final match-winner Kai Havertz.
The German forward signed for a huge sum last summer and it took him a while to get used to the fast pace of the English game.
In Chelsea’s win on Wednesday, Havertz missed a penalty in the shootout and was lacklustre throughout as the forward line struggled to gel. That may change when Romelu Lukaku arrives.
Havertz scored just four Premier League goals for Chelsea last season, but one fixture he was simply superb in was away to Crystal Palace in early April.
He netted the opener before setting up the second in that match and we’re backing Havertz to show everyone at Chelsea why he’s worth the price tag and score against the Eagles on Saturday.
Tip: Kai Havertz any-time goalscorer @ 7/4 with Betfair
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace odds
Chelsea are 2/9 to win on Saturday, with Crystal Palace 13/1 and the draw priced at 9/2.
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