Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea will be looking to put the recent defeat at Stoke City behind them by seeing off London rivals Crystal Palace in the first meeting of the two clubs since March 2005.
Chelsea made sure of top spot in Champions League group E with a narrow win over Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday, but the most pleasing aspect of that game for Mourinho will have been the clean sheet, only the club’s second in their last 11 games. Their failure to take more of their chances and kill teams off in recent weeks, means they are still five points off leaders Arsenal, who they play next in the Premier League.
Two home victories in a row under new boss Tony Pulis have given Crystal Palace renewed impetus, seeing them move on to 13 points, only in the relegation zone on goal difference. The Eagles are also displaying some of the solidity which Pulis was noted for at previous club Stoke City, keeping four clean sheets in their last five outings.
David Luiz could make his return to Premier League action for Chelsea after recovering from injury. Long-term casualty Marco van Ginkel is the Blues’ only absentee.
Crystal Palace are still without injured quintet Jack Hunt, Patrick McCarthy, Glenn Murray, Jerome Thomas and Adlene Guedioura for the trip to Stamford Bridge.
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