Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace are currently one of the Premier League’s form teams, having beaten Leicester City and Manchester City, and drawn with Cardiff City in their last three games. They also created 31 chances against Cardiff, despite the game finishing goalless, so with a bit of luck they could have three wins on the spin to their name.
Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea have lost one of their last four Premier League games. That defeat was against Leicester on December 22, when the Blues were beaten 1-0 at the King Power Stadium. On Boxing Day, Sarri’s team came through a tough game at Watford, eventually winning 2-1. They had to battle hard, though, and it will be interesting to see what effect that testing game has had on the team’s energy levels.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Prediction: Palace 1-1 Chelsea
Our prediction for this game is that it will end in a score draw, most probably 1-1. Roy Hodgson is a wily old campaigner, and he will have his team set up to exploit any weaknesses he has spotted in the Chelsea line-up. The Blues endured a tough evening at Watford on Boxing Day, though they did eventually emerge from the contest with a 2-1 victory. That game may well have taken its toll on the team’s energy levels, but they still have enough quality to score at least once. Palace will need to play well, but should secure a valuable point.
Our recommended tip: Draw, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes courtesy of Paddy Power. The Irish bookie is offering a price of 7/2 on both teams scoring and the game ending in a draw. This fits with our prediction of a 1-1 draw, but also gives you a degree of flexibility when it comes to the final outcome. Any score draw at all will see you collect a win, and the odds of 7/2 offer pretty good value for this type of market. Palace have been in good form recently, and the prospect of facing Chelsea will hold no fear for them right now.
Palace have won two of their last four league matches with Chelsea. The two teams have met on 19 previous occasions in the Premier League, with Palace winning on just four occasions. Chelsea have won 13 times and there have been two draws.
The most recent encounter between the teams was just last month, when the teams clashed in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on November 4. The game ended in a 3-1 win for Chelsea. Alvaro Morata the scored twice for the home team, with Pedro the other Blues scorer. Andros Townsend scored for Palace.
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Players to watch: Luka Milivojevic & Pedro
Eagles midfielder Luka Milivojevic has scored 17 Premier League goals since his debut in February 2017, more than any other Palace player. This season, the Serb has weighed in with five goals, four of which have come from the penalty spot. He also plays an average of 54.84 passes per match, and has created two big chances for his team this season. He has hit the woodwork three times, and has a cross accuracy of 23% from his 69 crosses this season.
Spanish forward Pedro has scored six goals in his 17 Premier League games in 2018/19, and has also provided one assist for his team-mates. Four of those goals have been scored with his right foot and two with his left. He has hit 30 shots, 12 of which have been on target, this season, and has made an average of 35 passes per match. He has received just one yellow card this season.