Monday’s Premier League fixture pits two struggling sides against one another in a London derby. We look ahead to the game with our Crystal Palace vs Chelsea prediction and preview.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Stats: The Quick Hits
- Across 10,000 match simulations conducted by the Opta supercomputer ahead of kick-off, Chelsea beat Crystal Palace in 40.4% of scenarios, losing in 30.4%.
- Chelsea enter Matchday 24 in 11th place in the Premier League table. They have won six of their last seven league games when starting the day in the bottom half (one draw).
- Palace will be without both Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise for this game. The Eagles have only won one of their six Premier League matches in which neither have started this season (one draw, four defeats), beating Burnley in November.
The natives are restless at Crystal Palace, and it’s easy to see why. A run of two wins from their last 14 games across all competitions (four draws, eight defeats) has led many supporters to call for the dismissal of manager Roy Hodgson, who looks to be on thin ice ahead of Monday’s meeting with Chelsea. With the Blues also toiling in the bottom half, both sides are in desperate need of a win to rejuvenate their league campaigns.
If Hodgson thought a 3-2 victory over Sheffield United on Matchday 22 would stave off questions about his future, he was wrong.
Palace were trounced 4-1 by rivals Brighton and Hove Albion just four days later, going 3-0 down within 34 minutes on a miserable trip to the south coast. Hodgson’s problems continued to mount in the second half when star player Michael Olise lasted just 11 minutes as a half-time substitute, having suffered what Hodgson described as a “serious” hamstring injury.
Palace also lost Eberechi Eze to a muscle problem against Sheffield United, leaving them without their two star players for Monday’s game. The Eagles have won just one of their six Premier League games this season with neither Olise nor Eze in their starting lineup (one draw, four defeats), beating Burnley 2-0 in November. Between them, Olise (six) and Eze (five) have scored 42.3% of Palace’s Premier League goals in 2023-24 (11/26).
The bad news doesn’t stop there for Palace fans, with former Chelsea defender Marc Guéhi also sidelined after sustaining a knee injury last time out. His absence will come as a major blow to a defence enduring the Premier League’s longest ongoing run without a clean sheet (12 games), conceding 27 goals in these matches. It is Palace’s longest run without a Premier League shutout since a 15-match stretch between September and December 2020.
Chelsea’s defence has also been breached with regularity of late, with Mauricio Pochettino under renewed pressure after the Blues followed a 4-1 loss at Liverpool with a 4-2 defeat to Wolves at a disgruntled Stamford Bridge. Cole Palmer put Chelsea ahead in that game, only for a Matheus Cunha hat-trick and an Axel Disasi own goal to put the contest beyond them before Thiago Silva headed in a late consolation.
The Blues did play much better in a 3-1 win at Aston Villa in the FA Cup in midweek, though, with goals from Conor Gallagher, Nicolas Jackson and Enzo Fernández guiding them to victory in Wednesday’s fourth-round replay.
It’s in the Premier League where Chelsea need results, though, with the Wolves defeat plunging them into 11th place in the table. They will start a Premier League game in the bottom half for the 12th time this season on Monday, their most in a single campaign since 2015-16 (26). They have, however, won six of their last seven matches when starting in the bottom half (one draw), while only winning two of 12 games this term when sitting in the top half (two draws, eight defeats).
Pochettino also tends to enjoy facing Palace, winning 12 of his 14 Premier League meetings with the Eagles (one draw, one defeat), more than against any other opponent. Hodgson, meanwhile, has lost all six of his Premier League clashes with Pochettino, with Jürgen Klopp (nine games) the only manager he has faced more often in the competition without ever winning.
There has been plenty of talk about the way in which Chelsea have underperformed their underlying numbers this season; ahead of Matchday 24, Opta’s expected points model suggested the Blues should be fifth in the table with at least 38 points, based on their underlying data.
If Chelsea’s results are to improve, Christopher Nkunku could have a major role to play. He should return to the lineup after being rested in midweek, having been eased back after recovering from a hip problem. Both of his Premier League goals have come as a substitute in defeats to Wolves (2-1 in December) and Liverpool (4-1 last month). He is one of just two players to net in multiple Premier League games for Chelsea while losing both, alongside Laurent Charvet.
Jackson could partner Nkunku in attack after impressing against Villa, but Reece James, Robert Sánchez and Roméo Lavia are still absent, while Benoît Badiashile limped off in the win at Villa Park on Wednesday with a groin problem. Levi Colwill and Trevoh Chalobah are nearing returns, though Monday may come too early for them.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Head-to-Head
Palace have a truly dismal recent record against Chelsea. In fact, their current 12-game losing streak against the Blues in league action is their longest run against a specific opponent in their history.
Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke were on target for Chelsea as they won the return fixture 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on 27 December, the latter scoring a decisive penalty one minute from time.
Chelsea now have a chance to make a piece of club history on Monday, having never previously recorded 13 successive league wins against one team.
The Blues also hit a late winner on their most recent visit to Selhurst Park, with former Palace loanee Gallagher scoring the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory for Graham Potter’s side back in October 2022.
Despite Palace’s poor overall form, they have actually won their last two league games at Selhurst Park, beating Brentford 3-1 in late December and Sheffield United 3-2 last month.
They last won three successive home Premier League matches in October 2022, while they have never previously scored three or more goals in three straight home games in the top flight.
Chelsea have lost their last two league games, last suffering more successive top-flight defeats between April and May 2023 when they endured a four-match losing streak under interim boss Frank Lampard.
Following miserable defensive performances against Liverpool and Wolves, the Blues could also concede four or more goals in three consecutive league games for the first time since December 1989.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Prediction
The Opta supercomputer favours Chelsea ahead of this meeting between two struggling teams, with the Blues winning 40.4% of our pre-match simulations.
That does mean Palace are assigned a 59.6% chance of taking something from the game, however, with the Eagles victorious in 30.4% of scenarios and earning a draw in 29.2%.
The supercomputer’s overall season predictions do not make for encouraging reading for supporters of either club at present. Palace are relegated to the Championship in 9% of scenarios, though 15th (17.7%) is viewed as the Eagles’ most likely final position.
Chelsea, meanwhile, finish 11th in a league-high 22.6% of scenarios. At 53.6%, the Blues’ chances of a top-half finish are slightly better than one-in-two, but they only finish in the top seven, securing European qualification, in 9.2% of our season simulations.