|Chelsea will seek points at Selhurst Park on Saturday but will the hosts encourage them? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
The Graham Potter regime at Chelsea will kickoff on the premier league front at Selhurst Park on Saturday when the Blues take on Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.
Chelsea doesn’t have it as worse as the decision to part ways with former manager Thomas Tuchel suggests but ambitions and other dynamics would argue but seventh on the log and eight points behind the league leaders isn’t comforting.
Crystal Palace would feel they deserve more than what they have gotten so far in the league. The Eagles are just two points above the relegation zone and a loss to their visitors on Saturday could see them sink deep into the red zone.
Lots of factors surround Palace’s struggles this season; the form of talisman Wilfred Zaha is one and playing strong opposition also counts for something but you’re not in the premier league to make excuses, Palace must start picking points everywhere.
Chelsea will be happy to welcome back a fit again Ngolo Kante. Reece James is also back in contention after featuring for England in their UEFA Nations League games; Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will also seek to have a great start to life on the blue side of London.
The Eagles can call on Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, and Zaha, Palace can be defensively solid on their own day but losing the midfield battle to Chelsea will heap pressure on Marc Guehi and Aaronson. Marc Cucurella should have a filled day down the left but can James say the same against Zaha?
We’re delighted that the league is back and the rush of games would mean managers will rotate to avoid injuries and fatigue but can they risk the points at the altar of game management? Chelsea needs the points as much as Palace does but who wants it more?
The tinkering of Potter is always about creating as many chances as possible while Vieira likes to stay compact and hit on the counter; two separate ideologies will clash on Saturday and it will joy to watch for the neutrals.