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Monday, July 6, 2020

Crystal Palace v Chelsea: Blues will keep it tight this time

Crystal Palace v Chelsea: Blues will keep it tight this time

Though not impressed with the Chelsea defence, Dan Fitch thinks they can keep a clean sheet in victory against goal-shy Crystal Palace...

Crystal Palace 7.40 v Chelsea 1.54; The Draw 4.40
Tuesday 7 July, 18:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Goals dry up for Palace

Crystal Palace find themselves in a poor run of form, having lost each of their last three games.
Roy Hodgson's team have conceded eight goals in those games and scored none. Normally, Palace are pretty reliable defensively, but the lack of goals is a recurring problem.
Only Norwich have scored less goals than Palace this season. Jordan Ayew has been a semi-regular scorer, but Christian Benteke has been a disastrous signing and Wilfried Zaha's goals have dried up. The priority in the transfer market this summer for Palace has to be to improve their attack, but that can be an expensive business and the forthcoming transfer window promises to be a challenging one.
Hodgson has a quartet of injured players that won't be available for this London derby. Martin Kelly, Jeffrey Schlupp, James Tomkins and Cenk Tosun are all injured.

Chelsea in good form, but shock loss exposes flaws

Chelsea will be looking to avoid another derby defeat, after a surprising loss at West Ham last week.
The Hammers ran out as shock 3-2 winners in a match that exposed many of the issues with Chelsea that Frank Lampard has still to sort out. Kepa makes too many mistakes in goal, the team are vulnerable to counter-attacks and at set pieces, while Tammy Abraham's lack of form is a concern.
Yet overall, Chelsea have done well since the season resumed. The highlight was a 2-1 home win against Manchester City, which was followed by an away win at Leicester that saw Chelsea go through to the FA Cup semi-final. On Saturday, Chelsea got over their loss at West Ham with a 3-0 home win over Watford.
N'Golo Kante came off injured against Watford and is now a doubt for the match against Crystal Palace. Definitely unavailable are Fikayo Tomori and Mateo Kovacic.

Chelsea can keep clean sheet in victory

Chelsea are the 1.54 favourites, with the draw at 4.40 and Crystal Palace at 7.40.
Given the respective form of the two clubs, these odds seem fair. Chelsea did have a poor result against West Ham, but the East Londoners have more reason to be motivated than Palace, who secured safety long ago.
The obvious way to get more value for a Chelsea win against this toothless Palace attack, is to back the visitors to win to nil at 2.40. Chelsea's defence is a concern, but this could be a match where the opposition are not capable of punishing mistakes.
An alternative is to back Chelsea to be winning by half-time at 2.08. Crystal Palace have scored less first-half goals than any other Premier League side this season.

Chelsea pensioners still performing

Two players seem to offer value in the Anytime Scorer market. Olivier Giroud found the net against Watford and with Abraham struggling for form, the veteran French striker has become Lampard's first choice striker.
Giroud is 2.50 to score. Another older Chelsea player who has been scoring regularly of late is Willian, who is available at 3.30. The Brazilian has scored four goals in his last three Premier League games and is Chelsea's penalty taker.

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