PMB: Chelsea v Crystal Palace - talking points

The Blues are back playing on a Saturday for the first time since mid-January. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton prepare for tea-time with the Palace…



Three years ago this fixture made Chelsea champions of England for the fifth time. After a run of four defeats in past five league games, Antonio Conte’s side can at least use this as a springboard for a final assault on the top four places.

The title-holders are currently fifth in the Premier League, five points behind Tottenham in fourth but eight points clear of Arsenal in sixth. There are still 27 points to play for, and Spurs are next up in the Stamford Bridge appointments book.

Home should bring some comfort. The champions have lost just one of the last 10 at the Bridge – eight wins, one draw – and victory came easily on the Fulham Road when Palace’s relegation-fighting bedfellows West Brom were in town recently.

Roy Hodgson’s Eagles have lost three on the trot and are winless in six Premier League games – a worse run than the Throstles’ before their 3-0 beating.