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Crystal Palace will continue their hunt for their first point in the Premier League this season, when they take on defending champions Chelsea at the Selhurst Park this Saturday.
The Eagles have endured a devastating start to their league campaign and sit at rock bottom in the table, without a single point so far from seven games. Prior to international break, they were torn apart by Manchester United as Jose Mourinho’s boys thrashed Palace 4-0 at Old Trafford.
In champions Chelsea, Roy Hodgson’s Palace will have another difficult game, as the hosts continue their pursuit of breaking the duck.
Crystal Palace finally look like getting some positive news as Wilfried Zaha appears to be on the verge of returning to action. Zaha, 24, has been absent for the struggling Eagles since the opening day of the season through injury but has returned to training. However, Hodgson wouldn’t risk rushing him.
Meanwhile, striker Christian Benteke remains unavailable for selection due to knee injury, along with Connor Wickham. Ruben Loftus-Cheek won’t be allowed to play against his parent club, while Hodgson will welcome back defenders Scott Dann and James Tomkins—the duo missed the game against Manchester United.
The Wales No.1 should continue to be between the sticks for the Eagles, but will have a hard time in keeping out a rampant Chelsea attack.
Joel Ward was at mistake for the first goal against United, but should continue to feature at right-back.
The Frenchman has made a difference since moving from Liverpool this summer. He should keep his place in the heart of the defence.
Fosu-Mensah, since his loan move from Manchester United, has been impressive. Missed the game against United but he should return to the starting XI in the place of Delaney.
The Dutchman has found his way back into the team under Hodgson and is likely to resume his duties in the backline on Saturday.
The Serbian midfielder will take up one of the two central midfield positions and has a huge task of shielding the Palace defence.
Yohan Cabaye, known for his excellent vision and good ball control, will look to add quality from the midfield.
The English winger has been one of the bright spots for Palace in an otherwise appalling start to the campaign. Townsend will be tasked with providing width and accurate crosses for his striker.
The skipper will be expected to lead from the front and bring more flair to the game.
Schlupp has always looked decent in the left-back role but given that Van Aanholt occupies that position, the Ghanaian has been moved to an advanced role. Surprisingly, he has done well.
With Benteke and Wickham out injured, Sako should lead the line again, just like he did at Old Trafford. Against Manchester United, Sako cut an isolated figure for most parts of the game. On Saturday, the Mali international will expect more service from the wingers.