Chelsea head to Crystal Palace on Monday night aiming to build on their impressive dismantling of Aston Villa on Wednesday night.
The Blues progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win at high-flying Villa, easing some of the pressure on Mauricio Pochettino.
There was no such relief for Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace this week, with both the manager and board coming under fire from fans following last weekend's 4-1 thumping at Brighton. Can the Eagles fare better against the Blues?
- Both teams to score
- Christopher Nkunku to score
- Chelsea to win 3-1
Both Sides Look Shaky
This Monday evening clash pits 14th against 11th, with neither side looking too sharp at the back. Palace have shipped 40 goals in 23 games this season, with only five sides having conceded more than them heading into the weekend’s action.
Chelsea have conceded only one goal fewer despite their heavy spending, with the Blues securing just two clean sheets away from home in the league this term.
Both teams have scored in four of Chelsea’s last five games, while BTTS has also landed in six of Palace’s last eight home matches.
Across all competitions, Pochettino’s men have gone 10 consecutive away games without a clean sheet, so both teams to score stands out as one the strongest selections going into this match.
Nkunku Could Be Pivotal
Chelsea’s poor season does have a slight caveat in that Christopher Nkunku, among others, has missed a lot of time through injury. The French forward looked good in preseason and was expected to add a scoring threat from the flank.
The former RB Leipzig man is now back to full fitness and has scored two Premier League goals in five appearances. It’s quite telling that only four Chelsea players have outscored him this term, despite the forward playing just 247 minutes of league action so far.
That also speaks volumes about Nkunku’s finishing, who finished as the top scorer in the Bundesliga last season. The Frenchman found the net in visits to Wolves and Liverpool early in his Blues career and he looks good value to strike in this trip too, even if he starts this clash on the bench.
Another Setback For Palace
Palace not only lost at Brighton last week, but they saw Michael Olise pick up an injury in a brief second-half cameo. Olise is now expected to miss significant time, while Eberechi Eze is another key absentee for Palace.
Palace have lost four of the six games which they have both missed in the league this term and this could be another defeat. Hodgson has lost to Chelsea more often than against any other team, suffering 16 defeats to the Blues.
When also considering that the Blues have won three of four visits to the bottom eight so far, they should be able to prey on Palace’s issues. The injury-hit hosts have suffered three defeats in four, while the Blues are fresh from a morale-boosting victory.
Back a repeat of Chelsea’s victory at Villa Park, with 3-1 an appealing correct score option with the Eagles having shipped 11 goals in their last three games.