|Embattled head coach Graham Potter must avoid defeat against Palace if he wants to remain in charge at Stamford Bridge. (Photo credit: Chelsea FC)|
Arsenal was reported to have reached an agreement with Ukrainian wonderkid Mhykalo Murdryk but news broke out late on Saturday that the Shakhter Donetsk winger will join Chelsea after the Blues owner stepped in.
The move is expected to help Chelsea’s blunt attack after slumping to yet another defeat on Thursday at Fulham. Chelsea has now gone nine games with only one win and would avoid an unwanted record when Palace comes to town on Sunday.
The Eagles are not in a good place too but the expectations around them differ from that of their opponents on the day. Patrick Vieira’s men fell short badly at home to Tottenham last time out and would need to do better when they visit Stamford Bridge.
Crystal Palace can look at where Chelsea is on the table and draw some inspiration from that; a win would take the Eagles level on points with the Blues and Chelsea would have played game more, belief can begin to set.
Injuries without doubt continues to hunt Chelsea with Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic pulling up in their penultimate game; big money loan signing Joao Felix got sent off in his debut and will miss the next three games, the signing of Murdryk is beginning to make sense.
Palace will hope that Wilfred Zaha can finally step up after his dip in form; he was largely anonymous in their 4-0 home embarrassment against Antonio Conte’s men and only had one shot on target in their 2-0 away win at Bournemouth.
With Liverpool’s unexpected loss at Brighton on Saturday, Chelsea can go level on points with Jurgen Klopp’s men if they put Palace to the sword but again, they would have played one game more than the pandemic champions.
Palace will set up to counter Chelsea with the pace of Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze while Chelsea will depend on youngsters Carney Chukwuemeka and Hutchinson. Will new players Benoit Badiashile and David Fofana get a look in by embattled manager Graham Potter or will the old guards retain their slots?