Chelsea vs Crystal Palace | Sunday 17th April 2022, 16:30 | ITV
I think many neutrals will be supporting Crystal Palace in this game as The Eagles have won many admiring glances this season, playing a good style of football and generally proving many doubters wrong.
Replacing the legendary Roy Hodgson with the relatively inexperienced Patrick Vieira may have seemed risky but a top half league finish is still within their grasp, as is a place in the FA Cup Final.
That being said, Chelsea are rightly overwhelming favourites for this encounter. They may have ultimately been knocked out of the Champions League in midweek but they were the better side against Real Madrid on the night and in the tie as a whole. A 4-1 defeat against Brentford is their only loss in their last eight matches and they followed that up with a 6-0 routing of Southampton.
Palace’s chances are also reduced with Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher unable to play against his parent club. While Palace have many other threats, he will surely be a miss and ultimately I think the West London side will emerge victorious.
That being said, I don’t expect it to be simple. Chelsea won 1-0 with an 89th minute goal in the recent league game, while Palace have taken four points against Manchester City, the same number against Arsenal and also beaten Tottenham 3-0 this season. They also played a lot better than a 3-1 loss against Liverpool suggests so I think there is plenty of reason to suggest they will run Chelsea close.
Of their 10 losses this season, six have been by a single goal, while they’ve also drawn 13 of their 31 matches, showing quite how tight their matches are generally. It is that single goal loss stat though that resonates with me, which is why I am taking the 5/2 with Bet365 on a Chelsea win by a one-goal margin.
I did consider a few players in the ‘anytime card’ market but will keep it simple and go with the one pick this week.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea – Chelsea to win by a single goal (5/2 Bet365)