A new Premier League season starts today and so does the Blues Bulletin, focusing on the key pre-match stats and information you need, and featuring brand new graphics...

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace head to head

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta (c), Thiago Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Jorginho, Kante (Kovacic 83); Hudson-Odoi (Pulisic 83), Havertz, Werner; AbrahamUnused subs: Arrizabalaga, James, Tomori, Mount, GiroudBooked: Azpilicueta 64, Kante 69Scorers: Chilwell 50, Zouma 66, Jorginho 78 (pen), 82 (pen)Head coach: Frank LampardCrystal Palace (4-4-2): Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Sakho, Mitchell; Townsend, McCarthy (Milivojevic 67), McArthur (Riedewald 72), Eze; J Ayew, Zaha (c)Unused subs: Hennessey, Dann, Kelly, Meyer, BentekeManager: Roy Hodgson

This is our 87th season in the top-flight and 106th overall.

Chelsea have only lost two of our last 22 opening weekend fixtures in the Premier League (17 wins, three draws) - Burnley at home in 2017 and Man Utd away in 2019).

Patrick Vieira is the 19th manager to take charge of their first game of a specific club against Chelsea in the Premier League (excluding Oldham in our first ever game in the competition in 1992). Of the previous 18, Everton’s Duncan Ferguson in 2019 is the only one to defeat the Blues.

This will be only the fourth Saturday 3pm kick-off on the opening day Chelsea have had in the last 18 years. The last one to be played at Stamford Bridge was a 2-3 defeat by Burnley in 2017.

Last season's Premier League stats

Most clean sheets: Mendy 16, Arrizabalaga 2Red cards: Azpilicueta 1, Christensen 1, Thiago Silva 1Most Yellow cards: Kante 7, Azpilicueta 5, Kovacic 4


If selected, the following Chelsea milestones can be reached on Saturday:

N’Golo Kante - 150th Premier League startAntonio Rudiger - 100th Premier League appearanceKurt Zouma - 100th Premier League appearanceCallum Hudson-Odoi - 100th appearance in all competitions

Antonio Rudiger made his 150th Blues appearance in the Super Cup against Villarreal.

Crystal Palace stats

Last season Premier League - FourteenthFA Cup - Third roundLeague Cup - Second roundTop scorer all competitions: Wilfred Zaha 11 (all league)

Last season’s Premier League statsMost appearances: Guaita 37, Kouyate 36, Eze 34, Townsend 34Most goals: Zaha 11, Benteke 10, Eze 4Most assists: Eze 6, Townsend 5, J Ayew 3, Schlupp 3Most clean sheets: Guaita 8Red cards: Benteke 1, Milivojevic 1Most Yellow cards: Milivojevic 8, Zaha 6, Ward 5

Crystal Palace have won two of their last three season openers in the Premier League, drawing the other, keeping a clean sheet in all three matches.

A quarter (17) of Palace’s Premier League goals they conceded last season (66) came in the final 15 minutes.

Crystal Palace have kept just one clean sheet in their last 13 away Premier League games played in London, a 0-0 draw at Arsenal in January 2021.

Crystal Palace have lost six of their last eight Premier League games. No current Premier League side has taken fewer points from their last eight league matches than the Eagles (six).

Christian Benteke scored in his last four league appearances in the 2020/21 season. He’s looking to score in five consecutive Premier League games for the first time. He has netted seven Premier League goals against Chelsea, against no side has he scored more in the competition.

As a player, Patrick Vieira never lost to Chelsea in the Premier League, winning six and drawing four of his 10 games against the Blues. It’s the most a player has ever faced Chelsea in the competition without suffering a defeat.

Patrick Vieira is the 15th player to win the Premier League title and go on to manage in the competition.


Patrick Vieira’s side rounded off a solid pre-season schedule with a 3-1 victory over Watford last weekend. Wilfried Zaha captained the side and led them to victory with a well-earned brace.

Walsall (a) W 1-0Ipswich (a) W 1-0Charlton (h) D 2-2Reading (a) W 3-1Watford (h) W 3-1

Pre-season scorers: Zaha 4 (2 pens), Banks 2, J Ayew 1, Benteke 1, Mateta 1 (pen), Rak-Sakyi 1

Manager Roy Hodgson and three of Palace’s players who started their last Premier League game have now left the club – Gary Cahill, Andros Townsend and James McCarthy.

Patrick Vieira is managing his first Premier League game today. He has never taken of charge of a game against Chelsea. He last faced the Blues as a player for Arsenal in a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge in 2005.


Sunday 23 May 2021Liverpool 2 Crystal Palace 0Team (4-3-3): Guaita; Ward, Tomkins (Schlupp 58), Cahill (c), Mitchell; Kouyate (Kelly 89), McCarthy (Van Aanholt 88), Riedewald; Townsend, Zaha, J Ayew

Palace's summer transfer window


Joachim Andersen LyonConor Gallagher Chelsea, loanMarc Guehi ChelseaRemi Matthews Free agentJacob Montes Georgetown UniversityMichael Olise Reading

OUTGary Cahill releasedStephen Henderson releasedWayne Hennessey BurnleyJames McCarthy CelticJacob Montes Waasland-Beveren, loanMamadou Sakho MontpellierSion Spence Bristol Rovers, loanAndros Townsend EvertonPatrick van Aanholt released, now Galatasaray


There are no suspensions. Conor Gallager is ineligible to face his parent club.

Referee and VAR

Referee: Jon MossVAR: Graham Scott

Jon Moss is refereeing his first Chelsea game this year. His most recent Blues game was at Everton in December 2020.