How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Chelsea 3/5, Draw 33/10, Crystal Palace 5/1 - BetVictor
- First Goalscorer: Diego Costa (CHE) 3/1, Michy Batshuayi (CHE) 7/2, Eden Hazard (CHE) 4/1 - Sky Bet
- Half Time/Full Time: Chelsea/Chelsea 6/4, Draw/Chelsea 10/3, Draw/Draw 6/1 - Bet365
- Crystal Palace have endured a torrid time in the Premier League this year. The Eagles have won just six league games in 2016, with Alan Pardew starting to feel the pressure from disgruntled sections of the Selhurst Park faithful. Palace currently find themselves 16th and just three points above the dreaded relegation zone, following a run that has seen them pick up just four points since late September. A surprise 3-0 win over Southampton at the beginning of December only papered over the widening cracks in the team’s performances, while a 3-3 draw with hapless Hull City and a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in the space of a week have left the London club sweating on their future in the top flight.
- Chelsea have swept all before them in recent weeks, notching up eleven straight wins and eight clean sheets in the process. Ever since a damaging 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in late-September, the Blues have looked unstoppable; form that is being attributed to Antonio Conte’s decision to switch to a back three. The alteration has seen the Stamford Bridge club rocket from top four hopefuls to clear title favours. Victories over Tottenham and Manchester City proved that the four-time Premier League champions have the desire to win, even when they fall behind, while recent 1-0 scorelines against West Brom and Sunderland showed their ability to break down even the most stubborn of back lines.
Crystal Palace don’t have the best record when it comes to facing Chelsea, with the Eagles falling to defeat on all but two occasions since the Premier League’s inception in 1992. Alan Pardew’s men were well beaten at Selhurst Park last season, but did manage to record a rare victory at Stamford Bridge. A home win in Saturday’s game looks unlikely, but Palace do have a tendency to conjure up a spectacular performance from time to time. Paddy Power have Palace priced at 11/2 to cause an early upset on what could be a pivotal weekend in the race for the title, while a draw is also well tipped at 31/10.
Chelsea are looking like a team determined to recapture their Premier League crown after a disappointing 2015/16 campaign. Under the guidance of Antonio Conte, the Blues are enjoying one of the longest sequence of victories in the club’s history. Following Wednesday’s win over Sunderland, they are now just four wins from toppling Arsenal’s record of 14 straight wins in the Premier League, a landmark set back in 2002. Chelsea are 3/5 with BetVictor to continue their impressive run, while a third successive 1-0 victory looks like a decent prospect at 8/1.
The division’s top team will be hoping to welcome back Eden Hazard after injury forced the midfielder to sit out his side’s midweek win. The Belgian has been an integral part of Chelsea’s rise up the table and is a 4/1 shot to open the scoring in this game. However, Hazard may face competition from Crystal Palace’s record signing and international teammate, Christian Benteke. The 26-year-old has netted eight times this season following his summer switch from Liverpool and is well priced at 8/1 to break the deadlock, while a goal at anytime in a Palace win is available at 15/2 with William Hill.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Chelsea to win 1-0 : 8/1 with BetVictor
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.