Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

Stamford Bridge is the venue as Chelsea and Crystal Palace go head-to-head in an all-London Premier League showdown.

Chelsea can’t forget the first Premier League fixture on Christmas Eve since 1995 soon enough after a 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton beleaguered them to the lower reaches, a staggering 14 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham. The only positive from that contest was Christopher Nkunku’s first competitive goal for the ‘Blues,’ who return to Stamford Bridge keen to make it three Premier League home wins on the trot for the first time since October 2022. Back-to-back high-scoring wins against Brighton and Sheffield United set them up nicely for this encounter, as does Chelsea’s formidable H2H run against Crystal Palace. Since 2018 onwards, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have defeated their cross-city rivals in 12 consecutive meetings, suggesting their five-match unbeaten home form across all competitions (W3, D2 – 90mins only) should remain intact.

On the other hand, Crystal Palace let a narrow halftime lead slip through their fingers late in a 1-1 home draw against Brighton last time out, extending their disappointing winless Premier League streak to seven games (D4, L3). And since you’d need to go back to early November for Palace’s last top-flight triumph, it’s no wonder they commence this round only six points clear of the drop zone as pressure mounts on veteran manager Roy Hodgson. Hodgson’s main preoccupation ahead of this trip is his side’s lack of firepower that has seen the ‘Eagles’ score a league second-low 18 goals this season. Netting against Chelsea has proved challenging for Palace, knowing they’ve failed to get on the scoresheet in four of their last five clashes against the ‘Blues.’ All that paints a bleak picture for the visitors.

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