Chelsea v Crystal Palace, Sunday 4th November, 16:00
Chelsea required a pair of own goals to help them deliver a 3-2 win over Frank Lampard’s Derby, though they won’t care having progressed to the next round and retained their unbeaten status for the season, which now stands at W12-D3-L0 across all competitions.
They also had positives to take from the performances of on-loan duo Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, even if the latter did put the ball in his own net, but for the Eagles it’s another matter as they were dumped out of the cup by former boss Tony Pulis.
Roy Hodgson made eight changes to his team as the Eagles travelled to the Riverside to face Middlesbrough, though the 1-0 loss leaves them with four defeats in their last five.
Regular starters will return to the fold here however, and Palace will fancy their chances of at least getting onto the scoresheet.
They won the shot count hosting the Gunners by 16 to seven last weekend, while each of their past three encounters with the Blues have seen both teams register on the board.
The same has occurred in each of their trips to the Bridge over the past three seasons – with Palace even winning on two of their visits.
They’ll be further encouraged by the way Derby carved out opportunities midweek, with the Rams producing seven shots on target to Chelsea’s five and doing so with just 30% of possession.
Palace aren’t blessed with creativity and rely upon a counter-attacking strategy to achieve results, though that suits them on the road and indeed, each of their four wins across all competitions have come on their travels.
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However, these came over Championship duo Swansea and West Brom, as well as bottom-three outfits Fulham and Huddersfield, while their point in the league at home to Arsenal is the only that wasn’t achieved against a team down in the relegation zone.
The Eagles have fared poorly against real quality as they’ve gone W1-D2-L11 against ‘Big Six’ sides since the start of last season, losing all six on the road as they shipped 17 goals.
Given Palace have netted in all but one of their five road trips in the league so far, even missing a penalty at Everton in the exception, we expect them to register at some stage.
Indeed, Chelsea have kept just the solitary clean sheet from their five home games, even conceding when Cardiff came to town, and so the home win and both teams to score appears a solid proposition.
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