Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace

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  • The match is Jose Mourinho’s 100th PL game in charge at Stamford Bridge (W76-D22-L1)
  • Chelsea clinched the title against Crystal Palace last season
  • No PL team has won more points than Palace away from home in 2015

It’s hard to get points against Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, but that’s what Crystal Palace will try to do when they travel across London to face Chelsea on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on USA and online via Live Extra).

The game will be Mourinho’s 100th Premier League home match in charge of Chelsea, and he has lost just once in the previous 99. However, Chelsea has gotten off to a slow start this season with four points from three matches, conceding seven goals in the process.

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Much of the early season talk at Stamford Bridge has centered around John Terry’s role in the side, but he will not feature against Palace while serving a suspension after being sent off last weekend against West Brom. That means Gary Cahill will be back in the starting lineup alongside Kurt Zouma, as the club continues to its pursuit of John Stones before the transfer window closes.

Yannick Bolasie will be available for Crystal Palace after missing the Eagles’ win last week against Aston Villa due to the death of his father. Bolasie’s inclusion is a big boost for Alan Pardew’s side, as the speedy winger is dangerous on the attack and will look to expose Chelsea’s back-line, which has been suspect to start the season. However, captain Mile Jedinak is out after suffering a hamstring injury midweek in the League Cup.

What they’re saying

Jose Mourinho on Chelsea’s slow start: “We have played one match at home, two matches away and have four points which is not what we want but it is not a drama. We know we can improve and are going to improve. This is the Premier League and when you are five points behind the leader in another league, that can be complicated. In the Premier League it is not complicated.”

Palace’s Joel Ward on the opposition: “When you look at the top clubs, if they have a bad result or something doesn’t quite go their way they’re always looking for a response so you can never underestimate teams like Chelsea. People say that it’s a good time to play them but they’ve got world class players that can win games on their own. Their quality does shine through at times.”

Prediction

Crystal Palace has started the season strong and Chelsea has struggled, but this could be a statement game for Jose Mourinho’s men. After winning away against West Brom, the Blues return home to the fortress that is Stamford Bridge, and they could silence some critics with a big performance. Chelsea 3-1 Crystal Palace.