Chelsea must get a win at Selhurst Park if they want to ensure their spot at the top of the Premier League table – but Crystal Palace also need a win to ensure they stay safe (Watch live on NBCSN at 11 a.m. ET and online via Live Extra).
The visitors are coming off a dramatic 6-0 victory over Arsenal last weekend, but with just a one point lead over Liverpool – and just three points over Manchester City, who have two games in hand – their place at the top of the table is anything but secure. Chelsea know they need an emphatic win, but will they be able to break down Palace?
It’s likely that Tony Pulis will be content with just a point. Crystal Palace are but three points above the relegation zone, but a draw would ensure they’re still safe come the end of the weekend. And considering the hosts have scored just one goal in their last five matches, playing for a point may be the only realistic option.
Palace had a tough time of it last weekend, with Newcastle grabbing a late winner deep in extra time. Pulis keeps the faith in that side, sending out an unchanged starting XI to face Chelsea.
For the visitors, José Mourinho makes two changes. Oscar drops to the bench in favor of Frank Lampard, while Samuel Eto’o misses out. It’s Fernando Torres, of course, that takes his place.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Puncheon, Ledley, Bolasie, Jerome
Subs: Hennessey, Parr, McCarthy, O’Keefe, Bannan, Ince, Murray
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Matic, Lampard, Schurrle, Hazard, Torres
Subs: Hilario, Kalas, Mikel, Willian, Salah, Oscar, Ba