Chelsea are in the midst of another disappointing season, but one thing they haven’t had trouble doing is filling the net. Our soccer picks expect them to put up a few goals against Palace come Monday,
Roy Hodgson has dubbed this stretch the toughest of his managerial career — and it could be about to get worse with his injury-hit Crystal Palace team pegged as underdogs by Premier League odds ahead of a visit from Chelsea on Monday.
The Eagles slumped to a 4-1 loss against Brighton last weekend, making it just one win from their last five games. With pressure mounting on Hodgson, and Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze sidelined, Palace sit just five points above the relegation zone.
If Chelsea hadn’t already sacked so many bosses, Mauricio Pochettino would surely be feeling the heat in a bigger way too. A disastrous 4-2 defeat at home to Wolves last Sunday was the latest setback for the Blues, but they rebounded impressively in midweek to beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup.
Check out my free Crystal Palace vs Chelsea EPL picks for this high-stakes London derby on Monday, February 12
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea best odds
EPL predictions for Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
There have been plenty of justifiable criticisms thrown at Chelsea this season, with the big-spending Blues entering this matchup in the bottom half of the table and collapsing defensively in their last two Premier League outings.
But the visitors are rarely dull. Struggles at the back combined with flashes of brilliance in attack have added up to contests you can’t take your eyes off for a second.
Chelsea’s last three games have all served up four or more goals, and the likes of Raheem Sterling, Cole Palmer, and Christopher Nkunku should be salivating at the prospect of facing a Palace defense that’s conceded 11 goals in their last three contests.
To make matters worse for the hosts, they’ll be without their best defender, Marc Guehi, who limped off against Brighton. That’s a recipe for chaos with the movement of the Blues’ front three.
At the other end of the field, the Eagles will miss the creativity of Olise and Eze, but Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew are still capable of troubling the visitors.
With the home fans losing patience, I expect a nervy atmosphere at Selhurst Park. If Chelsea get an early goal, the floodgates could open.
My best bet: Over 2.5 (-121 at TonyBet)
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Crystal Palace vs Chelsea same-game parlay
Cole Palmer has been Chelsea’s best player this season and he’s the likeliest to unpick the Palace defense on Monday. He’s scored five goals in his last six league outings and brings the bonus of penalty duties.
With the hosts scrambling to contain the Blues’ attacking threats, Jefferson Lerma is in for a busy 90 minutes and will be asked to set the tone in the crucial midfield battleground.
He’s picked up bookings in two of his last four contests and I see him ending up in the referee’s notebook again here with his tough-tackling style.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea side and Over/Under analysis
With Palace looking shaky amid uncertainty over Hodgson’s future, Chelsea get the favorites tag for Monday’s battle. Though the Blues have suffered heavy losses in their past two league fixtures, it’s still easier to trust the visitors in this spot — particularly with the bench options at Pochettino’s disposal.
The trends emphatically point to a road victory here. Chelsea have won 12 in a row against Palace and edged the team’s prior meeting this season, though they needed a late Noni Madueke penalty to do so.
While their Premier League away form has been patchy, with 13 points from 11 games, the Blues showed their steelier side on Wednesday to reach the FA Cup fifth round.
Neither of these teams can rest on a rock-solid defense, so the BTTS — Yes prop is appealing, and I’ve already picked the Over on 2.5 goals.
Pochettino has some tricky choices up front, with Nicolas Jackson scoring in midweek and Sterling, Nkunku, Palmer, Madueke, and Conor Gallagher all available. But whoever gets the nod will have an edge against an inexperienced Eagles back four.
As bad as Palace have looked at times this year, they edged a 3-2 thriller against Sheffield United in their last home game, so they could play their part in the scoring too.
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Crystal Palace vs Chelsea game info
|Selhurst Park, London, UK
|Monday, February 12, 2024
|3:00 p.m. ET
|Temp: 30 degrees F, POP: 0%
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea key injuries
Crystal Palace: Joel Ward D (Questionable), Michael Olise M (Out), Marc Guehi D (Out), Eberechi Eze M (Out), Rob Holding D (Out), Cheick Doucoure M (Out).
Chelsea: Levi Colwill D (Probable), Benoit Badiashile D (Out), Reece James D (Out), Marc Cucurella D (Out), Robert Sanchez G (Out).
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea recent league form
|Recent Premier League Form
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