Crystal Palace host Chelsea at Selhurst Park on Saturday (watch live, 10am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com) as the Eagles hope to stun the newly-crowned Club World Cup champions.
Patrick Vieira’s Eagles haven’t got the points on the board their performances have deserved this season and they are without a win in their last five games. They do have Cheikhou Kouyate back to make their midfield tick, as the combative central midfielder starred in Senegal’s victorious Africa Cup of Nations campaign. Wilfried Zaha is getting back up to speed after he returned from AFCON too and should cause Chelsea some problems. However, Palace have lost eight-straight Premier League games to Chelsea, conceding 14 goals across their last four defeats.
As for Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea, the Blues have just returned from Abu Dhabi where they won their first-ever Club World Cup title. That was the 21st trophy they’ve won since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 and it was the final major trophy that Chelsea had yet to win as they’ve completed the set. As the chant goes ‘we’ve won it all…’ Romelu Lukaku is back scoring goals, while Chelsea have seen their injury issues ease and Edouard Mendy has also returned after his heroics for Africa Cup of Nations champs Senegal. Chelsea have a few teams hot on their heels in the top four race and they must now kick on in the next few weeks as they return to PL action and the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 rolls around. This is a pivotal moment in the season for Tuchel’s side as they look to cement their spot in the top four.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Crystal Palace vs Chelsea.
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Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options
Patrick Vieira only has one absentee through injury as Nathan Ferguson has suffered a setback and is out with a hamstring issue. Conor Gallagher is unavailable as he’s on loan from Chelsea, while Kouyate is expected to return for Palace. Zaha, Edouard, Ayew and Mateta could start as Palace go all-out for the win.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) February 19, 2022
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
Mason Mount is missing with an ankle injury and could be out for a few weeks. That would rule him out of Chelsea’s Champions Leaugue last 16 first leg and the League Cup final. Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner will be battling to replace Mount in the starting lineup. USMNT star Pulisic has scored five goals in four starts against Palace in the Premier League and looked very sharp in the Club World Cup final. Elsewhere, Reece James is making good progress and could return soon. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is fit, while Ben Chilwell is out for the season after his ACL injury required surgery.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 19, 2022