Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Chelsea vs Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Chelsea will play Crystal Palace in a London derby at Stamford Bridge to kick off the new Premier League season.
The Blues have already won a trophy with the Uefa Super Cup, but now it’s all about returning to the top of English football after winning the Champions League in May. Chelsea Uefa Super Cup 2021 Winner : How Chelsea won the Uefa Super Cup 2021
With Patrick Vieira in charge and some outstanding summer business, it’s a new start for Palace. Can Vieira build on what Roy Hodgson promised in terms of safety but little else? His first assignment is one of the most difficult he will encounter.
Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku will not be involved in his side’s Premier League opener at home to Crystal Palace.
Striker Lukaku joined the Blues for a reported £97.5m on Thursday, but the transfer from Inter Milan was not concluded in time for him to feature on Saturday afternoon.
Hakim Ziyech is sidelined due to the shoulder injury he sustained in the midweek UEFA Super Cup success against Villarreal, while N’Golo Kante has “some issues” following that match and is a doubt.
New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is without summer loan signing Conor Gallagher for the trip to Stamford Bridge.
The midfielder joined the Eagles from Chelsea and is ineligible to face his parent club, while captain Luka Milivojevic will be absent due to personal reasons.
Ebere Eze and Nathan Ferguson are long-term absentees after both ruptured their Achilles in May. Michael Olise, who joined from Reading in July, is out with a back injury but due to return to training this month, and the Eagles are set to give debuts to defenders Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen on Saturday.
- Chelsea have won 16 of their last 20 Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace (L4), including each of the last seven in a row.
- After winning back-to-back away league games against Chelsea in 2015-16 and 2016-17, Crystal Palace have lost their last four visits to Stamford Bridge by an aggregate score of 11-2.
- Chelsea have lost their opening match in two of the last four Premier League seasons (W2), as many as they had in the previous 23 campaigns (W16 D5 L2).
- Crystal Palace have won two of their last three season openers in the Premier League (D1), keeping a clean sheet in all three matches. The Eagles had won just two of their previous 15 top-flight openers (D4 L9).
- Chelsea lost two of their last three Premier League games of the 2020-21 season, more than they had in their previous 16 under manager Thomas Tuchel (W10 D5 L1).
Chelsea predicted XI (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Chilwell; Mount, Werner; Havertz
Today 3pm BST
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Jon Moss
Chelsea squad from: Mendy, Kepa, Bettinelli, Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, Christensen, Zouma, James, Chilwell, Alonso, Chalobah, Emerson, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Werner, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Havertz
Injured: Ziyech (shoulder)
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Guehi, Mitchell, McArthur, Riedewald, Schlupp, Zaha, Mateta, Ayew
Head to head (h2h) history and results
- Chelsea wins: 31
- Draws: 15
- Crystal Palace: 12