Chelsea v Crystal Palace Betting Predictions | Back Home at 3/1 with SkybetPublished March 29, 2017
It is the time in the season where those in the title race begin to count down to the end and this year is no different. But Chelsea, who lead the way by ten points at the top of the Premier League, have all but sewn up the trophy already.
Antonio Conte’s side just need to manage their final ten games, but that is exactly what they thrive with doing. The Italian has built this title tilt on the foundations of a strong defence, thanks mainly to the 3-4-3 system which has rightly earned him so many plaudits. But unlike Manchester City and Arsenal, who take risks in their play and blow opponents away when at their best, the Blues have taken chances when they’ve come to get points on the board, without running away with games.
Most of the Chelsea players are really there to defend, including both central midfield players and the wing-backs. They contain teams and allow Eden Hazard, Pedro and Diego Costa, the regular attacking trio, to win the games for them. It is Hazard who makes this system tick, because although N’Golo Kante does make runs forward to create a link in the space between the two thirds, it is the Belgian who is mainly responsible.
He starts out wide before cutting in to negate the defensive midfielder’s role and get a run at the centre backs. As this happens, Costa and Pedro run in behind, creating confusion in the defence. Sam Allardyce is known for his defensive organisation too, but he allows his fullbacks to push on a bit more, which will leave more space.
An issue for Conte is Hazard’s fitness. He missed Belgium’s World Cup qualification action through injury and it is not certain that he will be fit for this game at Stamford Bridge. Willian will be the most likely man to deputise, but he will not offer the same things and Hazard, more often than not looking to go on the outside of the fullback. As a result, Conte could play Cesc Fabregas in midfield, with the Spaniard able to pick passes and get Chelsea in on goal.
Since Mamadou Sakho made his debut, Crystal Palace have won three games in a row.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 24, 2017
1-0 vs. Middlesbrough
2-0 vs. West Brom
1-0 vs. Watford https://t.co/9II4Zi5r59
The trouble for Palace is their main source of creativity is out wide, but their wingers, Andros Townsend and Wilfred Zaha like to cut inside, running straight into traffic. Their best hope is to get high balls into Christian Benteke up front and get him going up against Cesar Azpilicueta as much as possible, so he can knock the ball down for onrushing teammates.
Hazard or no Hazard, though, we’re backing a comfortable, if not spectacular, Chelsea win here.