Roy Hodgson has left empty-handed on each of his past three Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge.
This is the last of Palace’s eight London derbies this season, but only Chelsea’s sixth. Each London club had four neighbours to host this season. It is a quirk of the fixtures list that three of Chelsea’s local visitors arrive in the next month. Arsenal are the only others with a home derby still to play.
Capital clashes have not been very rewarding for the Blues this campaign to date except at Spurs (pictured above), who have otherwise been on fire in the Smoke.
All-London Premier League matches (home team’s score first)
Points Arsenal Chelsea Crystal Palace Tottenham West Ham
Arsenal 12 2-2 4-1 2-0 21-Apr
Chelsea 5 0-0 Saturday 31-Mar 07-Apr
Crystal Palace 5 2-3 2-1 0-1 2-2
Tottenham 13 1-0 1-2 1-0 1-1
West Ham 7 0-0 1-0 1-1 2-3
Over the past eight away league games Palace actually have a better record than Chelsea, and their recent record at the Bridge is two successive 2-1 wins. They won the reverse fixture this season by the same scoreline. Yet away from Selhurst Park Palace have not managed a clean sheet in a derby since 2014, and no London side has completed three top-flight wins in a row at the Bridge since Arsenal in 1974.
The Glaziers make the journey north for the Saturday evening kick-off in the third relegation slot going into the weekend.
There are just three points between Roy Hodgson’s men in 18th and Swansea in 13th.
Antonio Conte’s side could have a big say in who avoids the trapdoor as the Blues play all six of those sides between now and the season’s close: three away, three at home.
Chelsea fixtures against relegation-threatened teams
Team Position Points Venue Date
Swansea 13 30 Liberty Stadium 28-Apr
West Ham 14 30 Stamford Bridge 08-Apr
Huddersfield 15 30 Stamford Bridge 21-Apr
Newcastle 16 29 St James’ Park 13-May
Southampton 17 28 St Mary’s 14-Apr
Crystal Palace 18 27 Stamford Bridge Saturday
Stoke 19 27 - -
West Brom 20 20 - -
So much for those hoping to avoid waving goodbye to the top flight. How about the teams chasing promotion from the Championship? Wolves, last seen in the Premier League in 2011/12, with 73 points, and Cardiff City, relegated in 2014, on 67, have a four-point lead over Villa in third. Chelsea did the league double over both those sides last time we met.
Outside the automatic places, only 11 points separate John Terry’s current side from Preston in ninth in the race for the play-offs. Among those sides are our west London neighbours, Fulham.
In the Champions League round of 16, English clubs have not been winning their second leg matches. Spurs’ exit to Juventus at Wembley made the Blues, who are at Camp Nou on Wednesday, the last Londoners standing once again. And, of course, Chelsea remains the only name from the capital city inscribed among the elite on the trophy itself.
Before Saturday’s match there will be a minute’s applause and the players will wear black armbands in memory of and in celebration of the achievements of Derek Saunders,
who has passed away.
Derek was ever-present in our championship-winning side of 1955, the club’s first major honour. He was later captain of Chelsea and made 223 appearances in total.
This weekend's match falls on the day of Chelsea’s foundation at a meeting upstairs at the Rising Sun public house (now the Butcher’s Hook), 113 years ago on Friday 10 March 1905. The Chelsea Football and Athletic Club was registered as a company a month later on 20 April 1905, with 3,505 shares allotted and capital of £5,000.
To mark founders’ day, the club will lay a commemorative wreath on the grave of the club’s first owner and board member Gus Mears in Brompton Cemetery on Saturday.
Gus Mears grave pictured in the centre, to the left of the tree
Gus’s and other club-related memorials in the cemetery can be located on the self-guiding trail booklet ‘Final Whistle’,
which can be downloaded here. A new version of the booklet, updated to include the plots of player/trainer Jack Whitley and manager Bobby Campbell, will be available soon.
The Blues-connected memorials at Brompton are regular tidied up by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, and new volunteers are always welcome. The Clean-Up Group’s events are always announced in advance on
the Trust’s news pages.
Supporters interested in finding out more about the fascinating story of Chelsea FC should
visit the Museum at Stamford Bridge, open Monday-Sunday 9.30am-5pm.
The best that can happen this weekend...
Doing the club’s founders proud with a return to winning ways.
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
Premier League table
Last Updated: 04:00, Sun 25 Mar