THE Premier League continues this weekend and Adam Goodwin (@agjournalism) shares his best bets for Chelsea v Crystal Palace.
Chelsea v Crystal Palace | Saturday 10th March 2018, 17:30 | BT Sport
The fixture list hasn’t been kind to Chelsea in recent weeks and this game is sandwiched between games against Manchester United, Manchester City and a second leg against Barcelona. They lost both games against both Manchester clubs, and Chelsea were particularly criticised for their performance against City last weekend – the Blues had just 29% possession and zero shots on target.
This game against Palace is a chance to make up for defeats in recent weeks, and that’s something they’ve tended to do in similar situations this season. When losing consecutive games October, they went on to smash an in-form Watford side 4-2; a 1-0 loss to West Ham in December was followed by eight games without a defeat; and after defeats to Bournemouth and Watford a few weeks ago, they bounced back with a 3-0 hammering of bottom side West Brom. I can see a reinvigorated Chelsea side aim to get revenge on a Palace side that has beaten them in their last two meetings.
That Barcelona game is understandably a huge game on Wednesday, but when asked about whether he will rotate ahead of that game, Conte said: “We have a target in the league to try and take a place in the Champions League. It would be very important to get three points tomorrow. Then, after the game, we’ll start to think about the Champions League game.” This implies he’ll field a near-on full strength side, and they should have enough to pick up three points on Saturday.
It’s hard to look past Palace when giving out the award for “Unluckiest Team of the Season.” They currently have up to ten players out injured, including Mamadou Sakho, Scott Dann and Wilfried Zaha.
Their bad luck has continued in recent weeks when playing against Tottenham and Manchester United. Despite going toe-to-toe with Tottenham at Selhurst Park a couple of weeks ago, a late Harry Kane goal snatched a point from the claws of the Eagles.
And in even more disastrous fashion, they took a 2-0 lead against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United on Monday, only to concede a 92nd minute Nemanja Matic screamer as they lost 3-2. Roy Hodgson needs to start looking at whether these defeats are cases of misfortune, or just performances that could see them slip even further into the relegation zone.
I do think Chelsea will win on Saturday evening, and the bookmakers obviously agree with me, pricing Conte’s side up as short as 1/4 in places. But the angle I’m going to take is a goals bet, and I believe in Chelsea’s bouncebackability on Saturday evening. They’ve scored first-half goals at home this season, so I’d feel more than confident in backing them to score in both halves this weekend. It’s best price 11/10 with Sun Bets.
Chelsea v Crystal Palace – Chelsea to score in both halves (11/10 Sun Bets)