Chelsea VS Crystal Palace Match LIVE Football Score 14/08/2021
Patrick Vieira, back in the Premier League where he belongs and at the tiller of Crystal Palace. Vieira has quite the task on his hands in the short and long term. A trip to Champions League winners Chelsea is a very tough task for a first assignment and bettering Roy Hodgson’s consistency will be even tougher. The extra minutes played in the Super Cup might soften Thomas Tuchel’s side up a little but the quality the German has at his disposal should overpower Palace in the end. Graham Searles
Straight after smashing it in Belfast on Wednesday, the champions of Europe have the Glaziers in on Saturday. For Chelsea, remarkably, it will only be the third time in six competitive matches that a trophy is not at stake.
The hard work starts here, though. Any team that claims the Champions League crown instantly becomes a scalp the rest are desperate to claim. Still, faith can move mountains and the togetherness, fortitude, and winning mentality this team and coaching staff have engendered will now have an audience.
Even before the show of unity and purpose in Wednesday’s success against Villarreal, though, this first pre-season at Chelsea has been an instructive one for Thomas Tuchel. He has warmed to some previously unacquainted squad players and entrusted Trevoh Chalobah with a start in Belfast. The Academy graduate was arguably the Blues’ man of the match.
Likewise the players will be impressed that his unforeseen substitution of Kepa Arrizabalaga for number one Edouard Mendy for the shoot-out worked with such perfect execution in terms of tactics and morale. These are decisions and moments that build great loyalty.
The Blues have already bagged a trophy with the Super Cup but, with the Champions League claimed in May, it’s now about returning to the summit of English football.
For Palace, it’s a new dawn with Patrick Vieira in charge and some impressive summer dealing. Roy Hodgson guaranteed safety, but little else – can Vieira build on that? His first task is up there with the toughest he will face.
Romelu Lukaku, once signed, is unlikely to feature due to a lack of training with his new team-mates, though is an outside shot of an appearance off the bench. Hakim Ziyech is out after a nasty looking arm injury in the Super Cup win.
Kai Havertz played the full 120 minutes on Wednesday so could drop out of the starting XI, with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic potentially coming in.
Palace, who have also ominously lost their last four visits to Stamford Bridge by an aggregate score of 11-2, face the unenviable task of souring Romelu Lukaku’s expected return to the Prem.
Yet, the Selhurst Park outfit can take some comfort from the fact that new manager Patrick Viera never lost to Chelsea as a player. The fixture should be an intriguing one with the Blues fully aware of slipping up on their potential banana skin opening day clash.
Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech’s injury blow in Wednesday’s Super Cup win over Villarreal is set to keep him out for two weeks.
Ziyech scored but then had to go off in the first half clutching his arm with boss Thomas Tuchel saying: “If you take a player out during the first half, it is serious. It was unfortunate because he has been a very decisive player in the last games.”
A number of stars from Mason Mount to Jorginho have only recently returned to training following international tournaments this summer.
Lukaku will miss out on making his first appearance for the club eight years since his last as he is unavailable to start against Palace due to quarantining since his arrival in London.
As for Palace, Eberechi Eze remains a long-term injury issue after he ruptured his achilles tendon during training in May this year.
It is still unknown when he is expected to be back playing but he remains out of their squad for the Premier League opener at Chelsea.