Chelsea Predicted XI to Face Crystal Palace
Chelsea put their first win on the board at West Bromwich Albion last weekend and will be hoping for no slip ups once again this weekend as they get their 2015-16 season up-and-running after a slow start.
For the second time in three games the Blues ended the match with 10 men after John Terry was sent off nine minutes into the second half. The visitors were able to hold onto a 3-2 win at the Hawthorns but did face some late scares.
Crystal Palace have looked bright to start the season with six points from their opening three fixtures and having scored six goals already. The pace they have down the wings should cause the home side some problems in particular.
Here’s who we think José Mourinho picks:
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
A couple of decent saves and looked comfortable on crosses, Chelsea are yet to keep a clean sheet so far this season though and Thibaut Courtois can be expected to have a busier afternoon than he did on average at Stamford Bridge last season,
Defence: Branislav Ivanović, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma, César Azpilicueta
José Mourinho hasn’t got a replacement for Branislav Ivanović unless he buys before the end of the transfer window or switches César Azpilicueta back there. Either way the Serbian has arguably been the worst player through three games this season and the pace Crystal Palace have down this side may be giving the Portuguese manager sleepless nights in the build up. John Terry’s suspension means Gary Cahill will return to the starting lineup where he finished last weekend alongside Kurt Zouma.
Midfield: Cesc Fàbregas, Nemanja Matić, Pedro, Willian, Eden Hazard
Pedro was man of the match on his debut after he scored and assisted Chelsea’s second inside 30 minutes. The Spanish forward is quick, makes intelligent runs off the ball and picks out his teammates with excellent passing and crossing. This means Eden Hazard isn’t Chelsea’s sole playmaker in attack. Willian at number 10 probably sums up their lack of chances in the UEFA Champions League again this season. Cesc Fàbregas should surely be considered for that role long-term if Oscar isn’t going to be. The Spaniard will have permission to get forward alongside the attackers in this match.
Striker: Diego Costa
After two quiet performances, Diego Costa was excellent last weekend in disrupting the West Brom defence and getting on the scoresheet. Expect the Spaniard to do something similar versus Crystal Palace’s pairing of Scott Dann and Damien Delaney. Don’t be surprised if there’s any verbal between the striker and Delaney either.
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