Chelsea are fifth on the English Premier League table, having lost 1-2 and 0-1 to Manchester United and Manchester City respectively, with bleak chances in their next match against Crystal Palace.
Ahead of Saturday’s encounter, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton say The Blues should find strength in this fixture, 3 years ago, which made Chelsea champions of England for the fifth time.
While Chelsea fans are excited with this weekend’s fixture which, for the first time since mid-January, falls on a Saturday, Rick and Paul say they’re optimistic that Antonio Conte’s men will exploit the club’s history with Palace.
“After a run of four defeats in past five league games,” they wrote, “Antonio Conte’s side can at least use this as a springboard for a final assault on the top four places.”
Chelsea (53 points) are title-holders with 5 points behind 4th-placed Tottenham but 8 points clear of Arsenal in sixth.
Although the teams still have 27 points to play for, Chelsea’s next home fixture with Spurs highlights the need for win against Palace who are facing threats of relegation. A win in tomorrow’s derby will pull Conte’s men closer to grabbing a spot among the top 4.
“Home should bring some comfort,” Rick and Paul argued in optimism.
The champions have recorded only one loss in their last 10 games at Stamford Bridge – 8 wins and 1 draw, including the team’s thunderous victory on the Fulham Road when Palace’s relegation-fighting bedfellows West Brom visited recently.
On the other hand, Roy Hodgson’s Eagles have lost three consecutive matches and are without a win in six Premier League games.
Palace have, in the past eight away league games, maintained a better record than Chelsea, and their recent record at the Bridge is two successive 2-1 wins.
The Eagles won their reverse fixture this season by the same scoreline but, away from Selhurst Park Palace, they have not managed a clean sheet in a derby since 2014.
Interestingly, no London side has completed three top-flight wins in a row at the Bridge since Arsenal in 1974 and Roy Hodgson’s men, who are 18th on the league table, look unfavorably disposed to grab a win tomorrow.
Premier League fixtures
Manchester United v Liverpool – 12.30pm Sky Sports
Everton v Brighton 3pm
Huddersfield v Swansea 3pm
Newcastle v Southampton 3pm
West Brom v Leicester 3pm
West Ham v Burnley 3pm
Chelsea v Crystal Palace 5.30pm – BT Sport
Arsenal v Watford 1.30pm – Sky Sports
Bournemouth v Tottenham 4pm – Sky Sports
Stoke v Manchester City 8pm – Sky Sports